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Christian protesters decry Muslim mob's arson spree following blasphemy charge
Pakistani Christians react after Muslim demonstrators destroyed the homes of members of the Christian community.
March 10th, 2013
10:51 AM ET

Christian protesters decry Muslim mob's arson spree following blasphemy charge

From Nasir Habib, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) - Outraged Pakistani Christians took to the streets of Lahore on Sunday, protesting a rash of violence against their community over the weekend.

Demonstrators denounced the burning of more than 100 homes of Christians on Saturday - a spree spurred by allegations that a Christian man made remarks against the Muslim prophet Mohammed.

Some of the hundreds of protesters Sunday threw stones at police, saying the government failed to adequately protect Christians, Lahore senior police official Rai Tahir said.

FULL STORY
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity

soundoff (1,072 Responses)
  1. Science

    Look who is on top of this forum like HotAirAce mentioned ,

    There is bethany Chad live4him at TOP interesting ?

    Peace

    March 15, 2013 at 6:11 am |
  2. bethany

    Tim
    OTOH
    You don't have to buy the Christian assertion that believing in Jesus means believing that he was the Christ, the Son of God, and all that that implies. The study of the historical Jesus is separate from the theology of the Christ of Faith. Jesus, the simple wandering preaching rabbi is completely possible, given the evidence. It's all the legendary, supernatural junk that isn't.

    how do you separate that evidence from the other records we have about him?

    March 15, 2013 at 1:01 am |
    • Science

      Hey bethany

      Creationists and science education does it work ?

      Peace

      March 15, 2013 at 5:19 am |
    • Holy Hallucinations 28

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XXhfs4W8Qs&feature=player_embedded

      March 15, 2013 at 5:24 am |
    • the AnViL™

      how do you separate that evidence from the other records we have about him?

      ...what evidence?

      the only records that exist – are the anonymously penned books of the new testament. there are no eye-witness accounts of jebus. every account of jebus is hearsay.

      so i ask again – what evidence? what records?

      March 15, 2013 at 6:15 am |
    • End Religion

      No need to separate evidence, none of it is credible. The research is done. Unless some new credible evidence is found, Jeebus never existed. Carry on, my wayward son.

      March 15, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Tim

      bethany
      How do you separate the real life Davy Crockett from the Disney version?

      Most of the other ancient "records" we have of Jesus merely mention that this is the figure that Christians venerate, similar to the way that the objects of veneration of other cults are listed by many of these same authors. That leaves Josephus, who not only also wrote that Hercules was a real historical figure, but who also wrote that his Emperor, Vespasian, was actually the long awaited Messiah. After that, most of what Josephus says are reports of what Christians believe about Jesus, not collaborations with what the New Testament says about Jesus historically.

      March 15, 2013 at 11:53 am |
  3. HotAirAce

    How unfortunate – religious dopes fighting with other religious dopes. . .

    March 15, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Science

      Hey HotAirAce

      Yea if all creationists including chad get together on the same forum they can sink the ARK really fast.

      Peace

      March 15, 2013 at 5:43 am |
  4. bethany

    So i asked this "god" a question and by way of firm reply he said, "i'm not the kind you have to wind up on Sundays." WIND UP

    March 15, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • End Religion

      Now you're a Jethro Tull fan? Hardly possible. He has at least one entire album devoted to bashing your faith.

      March 15, 2013 at 8:34 am |
  5. Chad

    No one knows how the first space, time, and matter arose. And scientists are grappling with even deeper questions. If there was nothing to begin with, then where did the laws of nature come from? How did the universe "know" how to proceed? And why do the laws of nature produce a universe that is so hospitable to life?
    – Harvard.edu

    March 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      None of which in any way implies any deity or supernatural force. Just questions that science will probably find perfectly natural answers to, just like 100% of everything else ever found.

      March 14, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Chad

      It most certainly entails a non-natural (supernatural) causal agent. Being can not arise from non-being naturally (law of conservation of energy).

      The prevailing view on the universes origin, the multi-verse, is a non-natural (supernatural) causal agent.

      March 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Nuke Guydocker

      As well you know, Chad, this article below from the Harvard-Smithsonian institue of astrophysics shows your assertion that "something came from nothing " to be wrong. Once again, it shows that scientists believe something existed before, but exactly what is not fully understood. You are lying when you say something came from nothing. As you have seen it before, then you are a liar for restating what you know to be false.

      http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/bb_whatpowered.htm

      March 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Lenn

      Chad
      Since gravitational potential energy is a negative quant.ity, the sum of all the energy of the universe is actually zero, so there is no violation of the law of conservation of energy.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:02 am |
    • Lenn

      Chad's quote above is actually from the introduction to a full article ( http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/seuforum/bb_whycare.htm ) which continues with the sentence As difficult as these questions are, scientists are attempting to address them with bold new ideas – and new experiments to test those ideas.

      What do you make of this part, Chad?

      Is our universe unique?
      Perhaps the most unsettling and far-reaching prediction of string theory – and also of the inflationary universe model – is that the universe we live in is probably not unique. The inflationary model predicts that Big Bangs are continually taking place in other regions of space – and string theory suggests that these other mini-verses may be so different from our own that even the laws of nature and the number of dimensions of space may be different.

      This notion – that the universe as whole may not look like the part we live in – may help explain a puzzling mystery about our own universe: Why are the constants and laws of nature just so, and not different? For example, why is the speed of light not faster than it is? Why are electrons so much lighter than the protons they orbit in atoms? What we do know is that if these fundamental laws and constants were even slightly different from what is observed, then life as we know it would not exist. (For example, atoms would be less stable, or stars and planets would not form.) Traditionally, physicists have sought some logical explanation for why the universe is as it is. But the likelihood of multiple universes raises the possibility that nature is merely playing dice: some universes have the right conditions for life, while others – the vast majority – do not.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Rollo Tomasi

      Chad quote-mining and taking quotes way out of context are standard operating procedure for him. Interestingly, he cannot see why people think him dishonest for his gross misrepresentations of facts.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:22 am |
    • bethany

      Flint Fredstone
      None of which in any way implies any deity or supernatural force. Just questions that science will probably find perfectly natural answers to, just like 100% of everything else ever found.

      of course not. don't jump to conclusions. god-haters are so nervous god will slip one by them.

      there is nothing in the universe suggesting gods or nobody like gods. doesn't take no gods to splain this thing. heck, uncle norman made a sun back in the early 50s.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:27 am |
    • Flint Fredstone

      Bethany you idiot, Chad has made that exact claim daily for months on end. It's not jumping to a conclusion; it is continuing a conversation. That is is position, that evidence shows god must be the creator. He will gabber about the Laws of Thermodynamics and Higgs Bosun and punctuated equilibrium, and how they are evidence that god is doing it all (his regurgitations of these misunderstandings of course is wrong, as the scientists behind these theories readily state).

      So you have no clue what you are talking about. No surprise.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • bethany

      Some know perfectly well how these things started.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • bethany

      dear luke skywalker the idiot, "Once again, it shows that scientists believe something existed before, but exactly what is not fully understood." No! Really! We've been saying that for thousands of years. Finally, science is making progress

      March 15, 2013 at 12:41 am |
    • Flint Fredstone

      Poor little Bethany troll. Lies and twists and all her other little Jesus games, all to avoid the fact that she was wrong and stupid and mean.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:42 am |
    • HotAirAce

      Chad, name one scientist who puts forth a multiverse theory and also says a god is the ultimate causal agent. All that I have read explicitly say "no god required."

      March 15, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      HAA-

      In anticipation of Chad: The only reason multiverse theories are put forward is in an effort to push a unique origin and a unique Cause out of the picture. In an effort to reject God, cosmologists must live by faith of a different kind, but faith nonetheless. At least, Paul Davies calls it faith on par with that of any believer in God.

      Chad avoids Hawking's no boundary proposal because he (Chad) doesn't grasp the notion of imaginary time. I imagine he never really grasped the notion of complex numbers either. His criticism focuses on the use of the word "imaginary".

      On fine-tuning, examples of actual Universes that are less fine-tuned than ours have not been produced so that we might see that fine-tuning occurs and our universe benefits from it. No complete theory of everything has been put forward that says that physical constants can be other than what they are. Fine-tuners may be in the same position as someone marveling that pi is just what it needs to be to describe the relationship between the radius and circumference of circles – i.e. Euclidean space is fine-tuned.

      March 15, 2013 at 1:37 am |
    • JMEF

      Of course it is always what Chad leaves out of his quote mined posts that make him so disingenuous. No one knows, I don't know, we do not yet have that knowledge, we are close but are still searching to confirm that principle are statements made by scientists that Chad extrapolates into it must be supernatural so god did it. Interesting that Chad often uses the gambit, you are confused or you don't understand, to slither away from an argument he can't sustain.

      March 15, 2013 at 5:04 am |
    • Science

      Hey Chad how do we dance today, same old stuff.

      peace

      Think about that

      March 15, 2013 at 5:14 am |
    • Science

      Hey TTPS really starting to wonder about CHAD ??

      He keeps going and going and going, without providing any proof of his fairy in the sky.

      Not GOOD enough bait says CHAD

      Think about that (a chad closing statement}

      March 15, 2013 at 5:36 am |
  6. Atheist, me?

    MWW
    You claim that Christianity's central tenet is that we are unworthy sinners. Automatically this marks you as a former believer in a Calvinist theology. I can assure you that I don't feel helpless before God.
    The central tenet is that a God called YHWH loves you as Himself with all His Life. He asks us to love Him with all our life so that we will become like Him through a relationship. The proof that we love Him with all our life is that we love our neighbor as ourself.
    If you hold SIN as the central tenet of Xtianity then I am sorry to say you missed it.
    Even Rabbinic Judaism is more optimistic than that.

    March 14, 2013 at 10:20 pm |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      God demands you become a sycophant of he tortures you. You can be the cruelest mass murderer, and as long as you accept your Jesus sycophancy, you go to heaven. But if you are the most outstanding, giving, loving, compassionate human who doesn't happen to believe in Jesus, then it's eternal torture for you.

      The only crime to god is not sucking up.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Incontinentia
      So you do not know anything about the parable of the Good Samaritan or that of the Sheep and Goats orvthe Parable of the Two Sons. Look them up.
      It is not JUST announcing you are a Christian at a Billy Graham concert. If you have repented and turned to God then we must see the marks of charitable love in u.
      And if u do practise charitable love you know God already even without an outward declaration. 1 John 1 , James and Romans 2 will bear me out.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Incontinentia Buttocks

      I just love the way that every Christian has a different standard for admission.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Admission to what?
      I can assure you that every Christian reads the same Bible but not every Christian says what it does. That is why I gave you those verses to show you that the A.nci.ent Church never believed only Xtians will go to Heaven. Nor did Christ, the Prophets or the Apostles teach it.
      They all said charitable love was the sta.ndanrd. Thank you n I love u as myself.

      March 14, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Lenn

      Atheist, me?
      I can assure you that every Christian reads the same Bible
      The vast majority of Christians are Roman Catholics who read a Bible with more books in it than most protestants have, and there are many dozens of different versions just of the Bible in English. Imagine all of the different levels of understanding there are between versions rendered in different languages, including ones in which the Bible was originally written? So, not all Christians are, or have the same Bible.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:23 am |
    • bethany

      nobody can make you love 'em.

      March 15, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • bethany

      Lenn
      Atheist, me?
      I can assure you that every Christian reads the same Bible
      The vast majority of Christians are Roman Catholics who read a Bible with more books in it than most protestants have, and there are many dozens of different versions just of the Bible in English. Imagine all of the different levels of understanding there are between versions rendered in different languages, including ones in which the Bible was originally written? So, not all Christians are, or have the same Bible.

      so?

      March 15, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • bethany

      "You claim that Christianity's central tenet is that we are unworthy sinners" ah, you are a nit picker. sinful? amen. unworthy? if so, he wouldn't have been murdered for you

      March 15, 2013 at 12:43 am |
    • bethany

      dear big butt,
      tell me somtin if you don't mind. how does gods force you or anybody else to become a sycophant? any ideas?

      March 15, 2013 at 12:46 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Beth
      I am an Anglican. Do u understand what that means? I have a Roman Catholic Bible donated to me by a leader in the local parish. The deuterocanonicals and Apocrypha are clearly separated out. For centuries Anglicans, Orthodox and Catholics have used these Bibles but essentially the Core has been the 66 books. These are what we use across the Church. What is in those books is essentially the same in all translations and versions. I know cos I have read about ten different English versions. So if you haven't that is no excuse.

      March 15, 2013 at 1:15 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Lenn
      Just yesterday I met one of my Muslim friends holding a New English Koran. I encouraged him to read it. That is not because I believed in Islam but I believed he could gain something positive.
      Haawaii whom I addressed specifically does the opposite. Definitely he cannot expect polite discussions when he does not respect believers in other religions other than his own. I love discussion otherwise I wudn't be here. I have learnt more theology here than I wud have in Bible School. The history n science are a bit suspect though.

      March 15, 2013 at 2:11 am |
    • Jimmy Jones

      May I point out that since Christians have for centuries persecuted, oppressed, tortured and executed atheists, that since they claim atheists are responsible for the kindergarten massacre by "taking god out of school", and for so much other abusive and bigotted behavior from Christians, Christians by your own standards should not expect to be treated with anything but contempt and hostility.

      Does your protocol sound like a good idea now?

      March 15, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      As I said the history here is very suspect. Where and when were Christians torturing and killing Atheists? lol

      March 15, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      The fact is on this board for each Atheist who knows me well enough I do not bring in Cuba and North Korea as the basis for talking to American Atheists here anyhow! I was speaking to and about him. So it was not even a reference to the history of Atheist-Christian relations. If you want to misbehave because of your contorted view of history, feel free. It just shows you have self esteem issues.
      P.S. Pride is the opposite of self esteem.

      March 15, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Lenn

      Atheist, me?
      I have a Catholic Bible that doesn't separate the Apocrypha, but integrates it fully. My point is that someone using that version has a very much different reading of the Bible than someone using an ordinary KJV, or RSV, or someone reading it in the original languages, right?

      To the other point here about Christians and atheists I think people are mostly referring to the vast, violent history of how Christians treated all nonChristians since their rise to power under Roman rule. You have to admit that Church history does not paint the faith as showing much tolerance towards other beliefs, or former Christians who speak out against orthodoxy, which in great part is what's happening in the current Christians vs atheists battle. Many, if not most of us here, left the faith due to to discovering overwhelming problems with the theological basis of Christianity.

      March 15, 2013 at 8:26 am |
    • End Religion

      I don't know why religious people do this. You want to be taken seriously for your delusion and then spout obviously unsubstantiated lies. Why do that? You just don't help your case... Anyone can look up "self-esteem" and see it is either defined as, or a synonym of, "pride".

      March 15, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Translation is important.
      There are many Christians who rely on scripture to guide them in every moral matter, nitpicking passages their shamans point out. For example, when hunting the Bible for passages that condemn ho/mose/xuality, translation makes a huge difference.
      In the original Greek, the terms that are sometimes translated as "hom-ose.xual" are 'malakoi' and 'ar.senkoitai'.
      AR.SENKOTAI – Has been translated as "abusers of themselves with mankind" (KJV), "se.xual per.verts" (RSV), "sodo.mites" (NKJV, NAB, JB, NRSV), those "who are guilty of hom.ose.xual per.version" (NEB), "men who lie with males" (Lamsa), "behaves like a hom.ose.xual" (CEV), "men who have se.xual relations with other men" (NCV), and "ho.mose.xual offenders" (NIV). The New American Bible (Roman Catholic) translated ar.senokoitai as "practicing hom.ose.xuals". After much protest, the editors agreed to delete this term and replace it with "sodo.mites" in subsequent editions.
      'Ar.senokoitai' referred to male prosti.tutes for Paul and Christians until the 4th century.
      MALAKOI – Literally means "soft" or "males who are soft". This word has been translated as "ef.feminate" (KJV), "hom.ose.xuals" (NKJV), "corrupt" (Lamsa), "per.verts" (CEV), "catamites" which means call boys (JB), "those who are male prosti.tutes" (NCV), and "male prost.itutes." (NIV, NRSV). Until the Reformation in the 16th century and in Roman Catholicism until the 20th century, malakoi was thought to mean "mas.turb.ators." Only in the 20th century has it been understood as a reference to hom.ose.xuality.

      As for the deuterocanonical books, there's some patently absurd stuff in there – and I mean weirder than spending a long weekend in an aquatic creature's digestive tract or having a conversation with flaming foliage.
      Magic exorcising fish guts, for example...
      "If the Devil, or an evil spirit troubles anyone, they can be driven away by making a smoke of the heart, liver, and gall of a fish...and the Devil will smell it, and flee away, and never come again anymore."
      – Tobit 6:5-8

      March 15, 2013 at 8:55 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Lenn
      u r still pushing this Christians read different Bibles nonsense. I heat the Bible in the 3 languages I speak every Sunday and it all means the same. besides that the Apocrypha do not deviate from the Biblical commentary so I do not understand why you are all flustered. As I said state when ans where We tortured and killed Atheists. If u can't then just be more respectul. There is nothing more stupid than being resentful towards me for wrongs not done by me to you or anyone who matters to you!
      I cant answer for your Crusader ancestors. And for all I know your ancestor was Cortez or Barbarosa. Why should I answer for their crimes. Like the Bible says the son shall not die for the sins of His father nor vice versa. Each shall pay for his own sin.

      March 15, 2013 at 9:47 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Atheist, me?

      Sorry, I didn't see this here yesterday. I was checking the thread below for responses and didn't page up.

      You claim that Christianity's central tenet is that we are unworthy sinners.

      As I understand the bible and the theology, this is true. Perhaps this is where I tell you that my education was as an Evangelical Pentecostal minister, so that you can understand the background. As an Anglican, you and I come from two very different aspects of Christianity.

      Automatically this marks you as a former believer in a Calvinist theology.

      As I said. I was originally Reformed Presbyterian. Shifted right to Assembly of God, and then from there into a non-denom style missionary church. Born again at 14, preaching at 17, utterly convinced that I was a horrific, evil, filthy creature that could only be clean enough to be in god's presence if my filth was hidden beneath sacrificial blood.

      The bible was used as a weapon against everyone. And we were taught very aggressive witnessing techniques. Hurtful, spiteful things were said to people in order to get them to convert.

      By the time I was 20 (probably sooner) I couldn't even look at myself in the mirror.

      I can assure you that I don't feel helpless before God.

      Good for you. Nor do I anymore.

      The central tenet is that a God called YHWH loves you as Himself with all His Life.

      Perhaps that is true of some forms of Christianity, but that isn't what I read in the bible, and it isn't what I found in Christianity in my experience.

      And no matter what your branch teaches, what I was taught was a toxic, horrific, evil religion that destroys people slowly.

      He asks us to love Him with all our life so that we will become like Him through a relationship.

      But what is there to love? I'm not trying to be facetious here. I'm looking at what you are presenting and what I read in the bible and I do not see a god worthy of love. And why would I want to be like him? If what I know of him is what the bible teaches? No thank you.

      The proof that we love Him with all our life is that we love our neighbor as ourself.

      And those of us who love our neighbors as ourselves but have no need of loving your god to get there?

      March 15, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Lenn

      Atheist, me?
      It might all mean the same to you now, but isn't there a strong possibility that you're just translating the meaning you first learned of the Bible into whatever other languages you read it in now?

      Catholics and most protestants read the Apocrypha with different emphasis, right?

      Atheists were tortured and executed during the Inquisition albeit, at that time, simply expressing doubt in the existence of witchcraft was enough to get you labeled an atheist. Point is, before democratic rule, back in the days when the Bishops had as much influence as the Imams presently do in many Muslim countries, Christian clergy were every bit as ruthless to opposing voices. I'm not resentful towards you because of this history, but I am wary of any particular religious ideology taking over, and I include state enforced atheism along with that.

      I agree that each shall pay for his own wrongdoing, which is why the idea of being absolved simply by asking some character like Jesus to forgive you seems so illogical. People are responsible for getting forgiveness from their victims, including society as a whole. I just can't see how escaping that step is still valid.

      March 15, 2013 at 11:24 am |
  7. The Bold Truth

    Reading these posts makes it so clear. Christians have so much to offer mankind. Atheists have less than zero to offer. Brethren, don't waste your time with them. Do not cast your pearls before swine.....Jesus Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved....Acts 3

    March 14, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      How cute, you can cherry pick from your bible. What about 1Peter 3: 15?

      March 14, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      another liar using truth in their name. Troll.

      March 14, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • Christina

      "Reading these posts makes it so clear. Christians have so much to offer mankind. Atheists have less than zero to offer. "

      This is a great example of what is so wrong the Christianity. Christianity is suppose to teach a person humility but we see arrogance and self-righteousness among individuals and organizations who take the name Christian.

      March 14, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Apparently, the "bold truth" isn't so bold after all.

      March 14, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • The Bold Truth

      Hawaii, 1 Peter 3:15 refers to those who seek truth. Certainly when asked by a "seeker" about our faith we respond with sincerity, and love, and gentleness. When asked by a mocker, we do NOT cast our pearls before swine. This requires spiritual discernment that He gives us by His Spirit. It is handled on an individual basis.

      March 14, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @bold

      So is this one of those times where the bible doesn't say what it says, it says what you want it to say? Seems like it.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Haawaii
      You use an accusatory tone and would have everyone believe that ALL xtians do what you say they would. You have a set mind towards us. Do you expect to be given the same treatment as an Atheist who shows respect to another's beliefs? Incredible!

      March 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      Your "pearls" are actually pork rinds.

      March 14, 2013 at 10:36 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      bethany has an alias

      March 14, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
    • Lenn

      Atheist, me?
      We can respect a person's right to have beliefs different than our own, but that doesn't mean that we have to agree with them out of politeness. If it meant that then Christians wouldn't be here disagreeing with what we say either, but this is a discussion board, so why are you apparently appalled that actual discussion is going on?

      March 15, 2013 at 12:31 am |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    UPC Codes as the Mark of The Beast.

    Firstly, "The Mark of The Beast" is meant to be put on people, not products.
    The first UPC code carrying item (a pack of gum) was scanned in 1974.
    The "Mark" isn't supposed to start being applied until midway through The Tribulation (about 3.5 yrs into it), after half of the entire planet's population is eliminated.
    Last I checked, the global population is still at around 7 billion.

    But most importantly – not all UPC codes have 666 embedded in them.
    The number 6 is NOT represented by two thin vertical bars in a UPC code.
    A number in the barcode is represented not by two lines, but by four elements, which include two lines and two spaces
    The lines at each end of the barcode are guard bars, consisting of a thin line, a thin space, and a thin line. Since there are only three elements instead of four, no number of any kind is represented.
    In between the first five numbers is another set of guard bars, consisting of a thin space, a thin line, a thin space, a thin line, and a thin space. They do not represent a number because none of the numbers are made up of all thin elements.

    And besides, the UPC standard is rapidly becoming obsolete and will soon be replaced.

    March 13, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Doc,

      "the UPC standard is rapidly becoming obsolete and will soon be replaced."

      I hate to build a strawman, but it is quite likely (as evidenced by past behavior) that the hidebound ones will twist, spin and rationalize a new "fulfillment" out of whatever is next...

      March 13, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • Hmmmmm

      Yes, yes , yes, the mark of the beast is of course not UPC codes but the digital coding on the magnetic strip on your credit cards!! That must be it! And we know this because the love of money is the root of all evil, so credit cards are Satan's plastic penis he likes to watch you shoving in and out of your wallet all day long!

      March 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
    • .

      I predict that some good old fashioned Ginger Rogers style tap dancing will soon begin.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • ME II

      @Doc Vestibule,
      Whew! I was worried there for a minute.

      Seriously though, well said. concise and comprehensive.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
  9. Live4Him

    @Austin : I was wondering what [you think about] as a Mellineal teaching .? As far as eschatology plays out?

    Regarding the eschatology, I tend to differ significantly from most of the popular Christian leaders today. When I search scripture on "tribulations", I find indisputably that they were designed to refine people's true beliefs – either choose God or turn against Him. In short, they were not designed to "punish God's opponents". Second, I believe that the Great Tribulation will only last 3 1/2 years, rather than the postulated 7 years. Revelation talks about two 3 1/2 year periods, but I think they overlap. Further, I think that the final week in Daniels 9 ties in as well. I believe that the abomination of desolation it the murder of two witnesses in Revelation – but on God's Alter in the temple. So, I think that the Rapture will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation – 3 1/2 days after the two witnesses are killed. This will be when atheists will be the most confident that "God is dead".

    Regarding the Millennium, my study of the scriptures leads me to think that it will be a time of Jesus teaching us how to be His Bride. It will last 1000 years and then the final conflict will occur. After this conflict, the universe as we know it will be replaced – but with what, I don't know.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:34 pm |
    • Richard Cranium

      Lie4him
      First off, the reply button is at the bottom of each starting post.Try using it.

      Second, no atheist will be confident that god is dead.
      something that does not exist does not die.

      Third, You post a bunch of "I think" statements so all you are saying is "I disagree with all other branches ( over 30,000) of christianity so I'll make up my own take on what someone a long time ago made up out of thin air."

      You are pointless.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:40 pm |
    • Science

      RC agree

      Sort of like a few others.

      Peace

      March 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • Austin

      That was a great response! I will pray for the spirit to fill you with insight and joy for the ministry. Thanks for responding.

      His judgments are blessings. We need this. and He is faithful to save us and refine us

      March 13, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • Tim

      Live4Him
      By being Christ's "Bride" I assume you don't mean being the kind of modern married woman who can also speak her own mind, has equal say, can have her own career, friends, and independence, so you?

      March 15, 2013 at 11:59 am |
  10. Live4Him

    @ME II : Sorry if I gave that impression. I am trying to figure out how you determine things like, "Between 33 AD and 69 AD, everyone knew where the tomb was located." You initially used Josephus, but he only reported rumors and 60 odd years later at that.

    I follow the principle of "Walk a mile in a man's moccasins before you judge him". Josephus was a historian and therefore would take pride in filtering out meaningless rumors from actual history. So, he wouldn't report on a recent rumor. Therefore, the rumor would have started well before he actually wrote his book.

    Think of it this way – should we discount any history written about WWII by someone born in 1955 when the author claims to have spoken to some of the survivors of Iwo Jima?

    @ME II : why wouldn't oral tradition have preserved this knowledge [location of tomb], as it would seem, if not important, at least significant, to early Christians.

    Either you are really ignorant of the history of Israel / Christianity of this time period, or you are unable to make the logical connections between your question and this history, or you want to avoid making those connections.

    So, lets start with some basic history to get some context. Christ was crucified and rose from the dead in 33 AD. Seeds of rebellion were starting to grow over the next 30 years, until an open revolt broke out in the 60's. In 64, Nero started his persecutions against all Christians (i.e. driving them into hiding). Those around Jerusalem would be quickly denounced by the Jews because of the antagonism between Jews and Christians. So, there was a general flight of Christians from all of Israel. In 69 AD, Jerusalem was besieged and eventually destroyed. Almost all Jews were carted off to slavery. The country of Israel was renamed to Palestine. For the next 240 years or so, Christians avoided this area. Any attempts to mark the tomb would have been desecrated. So, memory of the tomb was forgotten. In fact, every Christian site was lost and later generations did their best to determine some of the so-called shrines – which are now "worshipped" today.

    March 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • clarity

      Gullible4Him: "Think of it this way – should we discount any history written about WWII by someone born in 1955 when the author claims to have spoken to some of the survivors of Iwo Jima?"

      It would not be fair to "discount" someone who claims to have spoken to such survivors; but we should also be careful to fully accept claims from such as "truth" either. Josephus = hearsay historian – certainly not someone that has provided credible evidence for any supernatural events alleged by the anonymous gospel authors, especially knowing some scholars assert there was tampering with the writings of Josephus.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Peter

      Crazy people are awesome.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • .

      One who takes all of Josephus's writings as proof of Jesus must accept the fact that Josephus also wrote about Zeus and Hercules, and therefore accept those two as proof of having existed, as well. Doing otherwise would get one accused of cherry-picking Josephus to support their assertions. Although I suspect there will be some tap-dancing around that little fact.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,

      "So, he wouldn't report on a recent rumor. Therefore, the rumor would have started well before he actually wrote his book."

      I'm not certain that assumption is a justified. Regardless, however, you must admit that the rumors could not have been contemporaneous to Jesus' supposed crucifixion when Josephus heard them, considering that Josephus wasn't even born until 37AD, right?
      So while he may have heard them "well before he actually wrote his book" he also must have heard them 'well after they actually happened', correct? And, I would propose, well after any easy verification were possible, such as checking the tomb, or presenting the body as some suggested would have been possible.

      "Think of it this way – should we discount any history written about WWII by someone born in 1955 when the author claims to have spoken to some of the survivors of Iwo Jima?"

      Did Josephus claim to talk to any eye witnesses? citation please

      "Either you are really ignorant of the history of Israel / Christianity of this time period,"

      I will admit to not being a scholar of the history of ancient Israel and will admit that it does not seem unreasonable that the location of the tomb, if known, might have been forgotten.
      Although it should go without saying, I must add that this does not mean that I agree the location of the supposed tomb actually was known, just that I can see that it might have been lost, if it had once been known.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : Regardless, however, you must admit that the rumors could not have been contemporaneous to Jesus' supposed crucifixion when Josephus heard them, considering that Josephus wasn't even born until 37AD, right?

      Again, this is the fallacy of Presumptive Proof. What evidence do you have the rumors began AFTER he was born?

      @ME II : So while he may have heard them "well before he actually wrote his book" he also must have heard them 'well after they actually happened'

      Of course. After all, he was born 4 years after the event that would have triggered these rumors and it would take a number of years before he heard and understood the meaning of these rumors.

      @ME II : I would propose, well after any easy verification were possible, such as checking the tomb, or presenting the body as some suggested would have been possible.

      Do you think it is impossible to verify that the JFK was killed in the 60's?

      @ME II : Did Josephus claim to talk to any eye witnesses?

      Do you know of any general history book that advances such claim?

      @ME II : I must add that this does not mean that I agree the location of the supposed tomb actually was known, just that I can see that it might have been lost, if it had once been known.

      Of course. But, I think you would need to agree that the following is a logical conclusion:

      1) If Jesus actually lived in that time, and
      2) If Jesus was actually crucified as presumed

      Therefore, the location of His tomb would have been known – since no dead person has ever buried themselves.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @. : One who takes all of Josephus's writings as proof of Jesus must accept the fact that Josephus also wrote about Zeus and Hercules, and therefore accept those two as proof of having existed

      Why would you believe that Zeus and Hercules ever lived? All Josephus did was mention that others wrote about these figures, not that he had an opinion of their existance.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Live

      "So, lets start with some basic history to get some context. Christ was crucified and rose from the dead in 33 AD"
      And what evidence do you have to support that a resurrection happpened? Just because you file it under basic history doesn't automatically make it so.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Psy Lance

      "Yeshua in Hebrew is verbal derivative from "to rescue", "to deliver". Its usage among the Jews of the Second Temple Period, the Biblical Aramaic/Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ Yeshua‘ was common." – Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon; Hendrickson Publishers 1996

      There were many Yeshua's living and dying at that time so there would be many graves of "Jesus" for the Israelite people were all expecting the savior to be born around that time and were under the oppressive boot of their Roman occupiers and were waiting for the Messiah to deliver them. Thus many named their baby boy's at the time "Yeshua". Most Christians don't even know the proper name of their Lord and savior for none of friends or disciples would have ever called him "Jesus" and most certainly not "Christ" as that is just the greek word for annointed.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • .

      Live4Him:
      Where did I say that I believe in Zeus and Hercules? I didn't. Disingenuous.
      You are the one citing Josephus as proof of Jesus.
      It follows that if YOU believe Josephus to be accurate about Jesus, Josephus is also accurate about Hercules and Zeus. Josephus's belief in any of them isn't necessary, as you pointed out.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @. : It follows that if YOU believe Josephus to be accurate about Jesus, Josephus is also accurate about Hercules and Zeus. Josephus's belief in any of them isn't necessary, as you pointed out.

      The only thing that is clear is what Josephus wrote:
      1) There was a rumor in the land that a Jesus who performed miracles and rose from the dead.
      2) That other authors wrote about Hercules and Zeus.

      Anything beyond this is a subjective conclusion.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • .

      Exactly, L4H: a subjective conclusion. Which is why Josephus's writing on rumors should be taken in the same spirit as The Weekly World News writing on the rumor that a BatBoy was found.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Again, this is the fallacy of Presumptive Proof. What evidence do you have the rumors began AFTER he was born?"

      As you apparently comprehend in your next line, I wasn't talking about when they started, but when Josephus heard them.

      "Do you think it is impossible to verify that the JFK was killed in the 60's?"

      Don't be ridiculous. There is film of the actual event. Are you claiming similar evidence for the ressurection?
      What I'm saying is that in Ancienct Israel easy verification, such as identifying the body of Jesus, would not be reasonable after a year or two, due to decomposition, even if the location of the body was known.

      "Do you know of any general history book that advances such claim?"

      Oy, vey! You implied as much: "Think of it this way – should we discount any history written about WWII by someone born in 1955 when the author claims to have spoken to some of the survivors of Iwo Jima?"

      "Of course. But, I think you would need to agree that the following is a logical conclusion:

      1) If Jesus actually lived in that time, and
      2) If Jesus was actually crucified as presumed

      Therefore, the location of His tomb would have been known – since no dead person has ever buried themselves."

      No, I don't need to, nor do I, agree.
      If premise 1 and 2 were true, that says nothing of how, where, or if he was buried. 1 and 2 have absolutely no bearing on your conclusion.
      If this is an example of your logic, then I am less surprised at your unfounded conclusions.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : If premise 1 and 2 were true, that says nothing of how, where, or if he was buried.

      So, how many dead people do you know who buried themselves? How many state executed prisoners do you know who are rumored to have been resurrected? In the last 20 years, how many of these same prisoners grave became lost?

      March 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "So, how many dead people do you know who buried themselves?"

      Who said he was buried?
      My impression was that the Romans often left crucifixions hanging on the cross, or just threw the bodies on the garbage pile. No burial necessary.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • ME II

      p.s. I'm not saying that happened. I'm just providing an example of a situation that falsifies your syllogism .

      March 13, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  11. End Religion

    The bible and koran are immoral works of fiction. They are no more relevant to truths of our universe than Green Eggs & Ham.

    March 13, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  12. Over 40,000 denominations of insanity

    Some believe that celibacy is appropriate for certain people, or for certain positions. It's ridiculous. Celibacy is unnatural and will continue to cause problems for the religious institutions that employ it.

    Many of the people from these same institutions advocate against abortion, but don't understand the realistic benefit of the morning after pill or even basic contraception; their unrealistic wishful thinking is causing the death of many at the hands of disease. Realistically, many abortions could be avoided if a morning-after pill were not viewed as such an evil option. Many of these same people bring children into the world at a high pace, and then would prefer that the rest of society take over and educate their children in their particular brand of religion when they don't plan well.

    In the U.S. recently we learned of the head of LCMS chastising a minister of that church for participating in a joint service for the victims of the Newtown school shooting.

    One sect calls homosexuality an abomination while the next one in the same denomination is already performing gay marriage.

    One sect, the Westboro Baptist Church believes Americans are being killed at war because America is too kind to "fags".

    One sect believes that Jesus and Satan were brothers and that Christ will return to Jerusalem AND Jackson County, Missouri.

    One sect believes women to be subservient, while another sect in the same denomination promotes equality between the sexes.

    Conflicted right from the very beginning, Christianity continues to splinter and create divisions and more extremism as it goes.

    =================================================
    Has anything improved with Christianity since 200+ years ago?

    Thomas Jefferson, POTUS #3 (from Notes on the State of Virginia):

    Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.

    James Madison, POTUS #4, chief architect of the U.S. Constitution & the Bill of Rights (from A Memorial and Remonstrance delivered to the Virginia General Assembly in 1785):

    During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What has been its fruits? More or less in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in the laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.

    John Adams, POTUS #2 (in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 09/03/1816):

    I almost shudder at the thought of alluding to the most fatal example of the abuses of grief which the history of mankind has preserved – the Cross. Consider what calamities that engine of grief has produced! With the rational respect that is due to it, knavish priests have added prostitutions of it, that fill or might fill the blackest and bloodiest pages of human history.

    Ben Franklin (from a letter to The London Packet, 3 June 1772):

    If we look back into history for the character of present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution. The primitive Christians thought persecution extremely wrong in the Pagans, but practised it on one another. The first Protestants of the Church of England, blamed persecution in the Roman church, but practised it against the Puritans: these found it wrong in the Bishops, but fell into the same practice themselves both here and in New England.

    Thomas Paine (from The Age of Reason):

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
    ==========================================

    March 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    • ..

      March 13, 2013 at 9:54 am |
  13. Austin

    Your Koran prophecies are stemming from biblical ideas.

    And as far as your miracles, check out YouTube and Benny Hin. The reason you don't have an issue is because it either happened or it didn't, And if it did, it could have been Satan power too. If it was linked to someone who states the
    Christ is created and Satans brother, and screws up his deity, then it is obviously a lie or satanic. And I won't say that God would not heal a non believer .

    March 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Akira

      Hi, Austin...the ubiquitous "you" again.
      Every time I see the name 'Benny Hinn' it reminds me of the late Benny Hill...both were clowns, IMO.
      Have a nice evening.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:03 am |
    • Austin

      Hi Akira, I hope you had a great day.

      Binny Hin shows make me laugh and then scare me too. Themusic is all deep too, people in a trance . He shoves people over. Ohhhh. Wow. What a show!

      March 13, 2013 at 12:16 am |
    • Benny Hinn Hill

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0-04VDrCbM

      March 13, 2013 at 1:07 am |
    • Austin

      Hysterical! That was soooop funny. I love that music!

      Haha. I could watch that one again!

      March 13, 2013 at 1:24 am |
    • Lenn

      Austin
      Still, you have to admit that Hinn's show is only marginally more sensational than many other evangelical church experiences. Undoubtedly, there are pastors out there who certainly say far more outrageous things, and some whose ministry make him look pretty mundane. Rather than being some oddity from way out on the fringe, as you seem to be implying, he's more like right of center, right?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • A Frayed Knot

      Austin,

      Good that you can see how ludicrous and downright crazy Benny Hinn is. This might help you to understand why many people here think that some of your schtick, eg., the lit-up Christian signs in your yard, your dead-cat revelations and other of your way-out assertions are quite ludicrous.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
    • Austin

      frayed Knot,

      Oh, I know it. And I knew ahead of time. I also have a cross on my business advertisements and a Christian name to it. That might cost me too.. But it does not matter. Everything is Gods.

      I am not trying to make money like Binny Hin. I take my Lord into all facets because of one experience, the one He gave me. I don't preach to a choir. I trust the Holy Spirit and the power inHis word.

      John 15:26-27
      New International Version (NIV)
      The Work of the Holy Spirit

      26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

      This is the promise of the Holy Spirit from the mouth of none other than the Lord. This is a promise . For those who seek and abide in the His Name, the Word of God.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Unity@St Mary's

    Live4Him is a fraud and a nutjob

    March 12, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
    • Austin

      Gong.

      Long distance runner.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
    • ..

      Bzzzzzzzzzzzt! Wrong!
      Ooooops, sorry Austin, but the tinfoil hat that L4H wears needs adjusting, and if you buy into that UPC mark of the beast bull, yours does, too.
      And cut the GONG shit out, unless you think that stealing another annoyance from lol?? is cute. She ain't, and you ain't. Be creative at least.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Austin

      Hey dot dot.
      Chill out. Bro.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:12 am |
  15. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Another example of why Religion is truly the SOURCE of evils on this Earth.

    March 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Austin

      I wonder if someone can pick the truth out of that statement about religion. I can, but not without truly knowing and receiving faith.

      March 12, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Austin, do you mean "Religion is truly the SOURCE".

      March 12, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
    • ..

      I spotted the truth. "Evils" shouldn't be plural.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Austin

      The truth is not evil. Religion is evil. The resurrection is truth. The bible is truth. A false teacher is evil , he masks truth.

      Mans reputation does not alter the authenticity of the Holy Spirit. The church is not a denomination. The church are those individuals who are baptized by the holy spirit. Not necessarily those who attend every Sunday.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Tim

      Austin
      The Bible is a source of the very religion you consider evil. As the Bible says, how can a "good tree" produce such "bad fruit"?

      A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Matt. 7:18

      I would be inclined to agree that truly free-thinking Christians are probably more authenticity following Jesus' example, but if you have a bunch of "individuals" who still end up condemning all the same groups, holding on to all the same outdated beliefs, repeating all the same fallacies, and repeating all the same nonsensical excuses for taking the Bible literally then you have an organized denomination, don't you? They communicate with each other and follow the teachings of leaders like William Lane Craig, Rick Warren, and so on. They may not attend church every Sunday, but they are still buying into a narrow ideology where true free-thinking is not at all evident, right?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • Austin

      Tim, how free is your thinking if you can't have faith in God? if you are overcome with the deceit of evil, how free are you to be imamcipated from God? Are you lying to yourself? Can you believe the truth if it is the resurrection?

      The answer is no if you are too proud. You will not receive faith .

      the Holy spirit is not found in an anthropology text book.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:49 pm |
    • Tim

      Austin
      How free would my thinking be afterwards, should I gain faith in God? Would I be free to believe what I want, or would I be obliged to accept a set formula of standard beliefs that matches orthodoxy? See where I'm going with this?

      March 15, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    @Live4Him

    Can you disprove the accounts of the miraculous healing attributed to Joseph Smith and Mary Baker Eddy?

    An example of the many testimonies for Mary Baker Eddy:
    'About eighteen years ago, while living in Boston, I fell from the third story of a building on which I was working, to the pavement. My leg was broken in three places. I was taken to a hospital, where they tried to help me. They said that the leg was so bad that it would have to be amputated. I said, 'No, I would rather die.' They permitted it to heal as best it might, and as a result I had to wear an iron shoe eight or nine inches high. I was called to Mrs. Eddy's home on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, to do some light work. Mrs. Eddy came into the room where I was busy, and observing my condition, kindly remarked, 'I suppose you expect to get out of this some time.' I answered 'No, all that can be done for me has been done, and I can now manage to get around with a cane.' Mrs. Eddy said, 'Sit down and I will treat you.' When she finished the treatment she said, 'You go home and take off that iron shoe, and give your leg a chance to straighten out.' I went home and did as I was told, and now I am so well that, so far as I know, one leg is as good as the other."

    For Joseph Smith:
    In 1831, Mrs. John Johnson had a stiff arm that she wanted healed and made useful like the other, so she sought out Joseph Smith. The next day Joseph came to Bishop Newel K. Whitney's home where Mr. Johnson and his wife were staying. There were a Campbellite doctor and a Methodist preacher in the room. He took Mrs. Johnson by the hand and without sitting down or standing on ceremonies, and after a very short mental prayer, pronounced her arm whole in the name of Jesus Christ. He left the house immediately.
    When he was gone, the preacher asked if her arm was well. She immediately stretched out her arm straight, remarking at the same time, "It's as well as the other."

    As for prophecies – you have yet to address the fulfilled prophecies from the Koran.
    To my eyes, they're actually more specific than the ones in Revelation.
    It foresaw fingerprints identification ("Their skins will bear witness against them as to what they have been doing"), industrial pollution ("Corruption has spread on land and sea because of what men’s hands have wrought" ), genetic engineering ("They will alter Allah's creation."), and AIDS ("It never happens that permissiveness overwhelms a people to the extent that they display their acts of s.ex shamelessly and they are not uniquely punished by God. Among them, invariably, pestilence is made to spread and such other diseases, the like of which have never been witnessed by their forefathers." ).

    March 12, 2013 at 4:31 pm |
    • Austin

      #2 Bible Verses about Clean Hands Pure Heart
      Psalm 24:3-4 ESV: Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully

      Numbers 35:33-34 – So ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye [are]: for blood it defileth the land: and the land cannot be cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.   (Read More...)

      Jeremiah 2:7 – And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.

      We are faced with a plague that may kill more people than any other plague in history. HIV, the AIDS virus, is spreading like wildfire around the world. Some say this pandemic is a punishment for sin. Others object and say that no stigma should be attached to venereal diseases. What does the Bible say?

      The Scriptures mention at least five different reasons for the existence of diseases: (1) the fall of man, (2) Satan, (3) punishment for disobeying God's commands, (4) a personal punishment from God, and (5) the natural consequences of sin.

      Since the fall, all men are subject to sickness and death.

      When Jesus' disciples asked, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" He replied, "Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him" (John 9:1-3). Most diseases and sicknesses are simply the result of random circ.umstances. The existence of diseases is a general punishment of all mankind because of sin in the world, but in most cases a sickness is not an individual punishment of the person who is sick. Jesus "took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17).

      Satan is sometimes the source of sickness.

      Satan "struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head" (Job 2:7). Jesus said of the woman who was bent over and could not straighten herself, that satan had bound her for eighteen years (Luke 13:11-16). Paul describes his thorn in the flesh as 'a messenger of satan' (2 Corinthians 12:7). These afflictions did not result from the sin of the person in question but from satan's activity. God allowed Job to be tested by sickness so the genuineness of his righteousness could be demonstrated. He did not remove Paul's thorn in the flesh so the power of His grace would be revealed.

      Disease can be a punishment for disobeying God's commands.

      After God freed Israel from Egyptian bondage He told the people: "If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians" (Exodus 15:26).

      Shortly before the children of Israel entered the promised land, they were warned that obedience to God would result in blessings, and that disobedience would result in curses, one of which was: "The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed" (Deuteronomy 28:27). "If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the Lord will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues - great and prolonged plagues - and serious and prolonged sicknesses. Moreover He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the Lord bring upon you until you are destroyed" (Deuteronomy 28:58-61).

      God warned Israel: "But if you do not obey Me, and do not observe all these commandments, and if you despise My statutes, or if your soul abhors My judgments, so that you do not perform all My commandments, but break My covenant, I also will do this to you: I will even appoint terror over you, wasting disease and fever which shall consume the eyes and cause sorrow of heart" (Leviticus 26:14-16).

      Sickness was in some cases a direct punishment from God.

      Jehoram, an evil king of Judah, was told by Elijah: "Behold, the Lord will strike your people with a serious affliction - your children, your wives, and all your possessions; and you will become very sick with a disease of your intestines, until your intestines come out by reason of the sickness, day by day" (2 Chronicles 21:14,15). Herod Agrippa allowed people to shout: "The voice of a god and not of a man!" In Acts 12:23 we read about his punishment: "Then immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he did not give glory to God. And he was eaten by worms and died."

      Sickness can also be a natural result of sin.

      Referring to the consequences of immorality, Paul wrote: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26,27).

      March 12, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Austin

      In two cases, however, the King James Version renders sa‘ir as “satyr” (Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14). . On two different occasions in the KJV, the word is translated “demon” (Leviticus 17:7; 2 Chronicles 11:15), where it denotes a pagan god in goat form (cf. the New International Version).

      Genesis 6:1-22 ESV / 42 helpful votes

      When man began to multiply on the face of the land and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive. And they took as their wives any they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.” The Nephilim were on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of man and they bore children to them. These were the mighty men who were of old, the men of renown. The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. ...

      In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces, ...

      March 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • ..

      Austin, disprove the miracles of MBE and Joseph Smith, or shut up.
      Address the prophecies of the Koran, or shut up.
      Nothing you wrote does that.
      Put up or SHUT UP.
      Stay on TASK, stay FOCUSED, or SHUT UP!
      Fucking vanity writers irritate the crap out of me!!

      March 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm |
    • Austin

      Miraculous healings do happen. There are bible verses that should be clear on that.

      Wether they were for trick or truth, shouldn't even matter. Proof isn't faith.
      You would argue this question of yours both directions.

      Luke 16:27-31
      27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

      29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

      30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

      31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

      March 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • ...

      "Miraculous healings do happen. There are bible verses that should be clear on that.
      Wether they were for trick or truth, shouldn't even matter. Proof isn't faith."

      Wait a hot minute – that old guy from Children of the Corn said that..

      March 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • ..

      Not really, Austin, but you didn't do anything but start you Bible babble. You didn't add anything to Doc's conversation, and instead you hijacked a thread instead of starting a new one. Another vanity write just blah blah blahing to see his own words in print, instead of addressing Doc's points.
      I'm out of here. Prattle on saying absolutely nothing of the points raised. Talking to you is like talking to the wall: pointless. Sayanara.

      What an astounding, crushing BORE.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • Austin

      Austin
      Your Koran prophecies are stemming from biblical ideas.

      And as far as your miracles, check out YouTube and Benny Hin. The reason you don't have an issue is because it either happened or it didn't, And if it did, it could have been Satan power too. If it was linked to someone who states the
      Christ is created and Satans brother, and screws up his deity, then it is obviously a lie or satanic. And I won't say that God would not heal a non believer .

      March 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      High jacked a thread from four hours ago?

      March 12, 2013 at 11:51 pm |
    • Austin

      Going off a hunch , Your Quran does not have the word industrial in .

      Also, fingerprint wasn't in there either, and the quote about skin is a reference to clean hands or pestilence.

      I haven't spent more than thirty seconds thinking harder about it or looking at Quran, they sound like bible repeats.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      "don't pervert a sacred word and meaning."

      The word "marriage" derives from Middle English mariage, which first appears in 1250–1300 CE This in turn is derived from Old French marier (to marry) and ultimately Latin marītāre meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married. The adjective marīt-us -a, -um meaning matrimonial or nuptial could also be used in the masculine form as a noun for "husband" and in the feminine form for "wife."[11] The related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium which combines the two concepts mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition."

      With every gay couple I know there is one who is more masculine and one who is more feminine, I see no problem why they would not fit both the word and meaning. And if you want to say "Well some could never be mothers" while that is true, it is also true of many women who are barren and still get married and have happy lives and adopt or have a surrogate, just like any gay couple should be able to do.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:33 am |
    • Mass Debater

      Sorry for the miss-post

      March 13, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Austin

      Ok if you are right about the word marriage let em get married then. But I believe a sin is a sin and habitual sin is even worse, but I don't care what anyone does, thats up to them. I don't discriminate one sin from another

      Why do they always talk about the definition of marriage then? Idk. I don't pick people.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Austin
      Yesterday, Live4Him was making the claim that UPC codes are the Mark of The Devil as prophesied in Revelation.
      The object of my query was not to solicit reams of Bible passages – it was to point out that many religions have prophesies that they claim to have been fulfilled.
      You seem so quick to dismiss The Holy Koran. You seem to be implying that it's just a rip off of The Bible. Have you ever stopped to think what a Hasidic Jew thinks of the poor man's sequel to their original Holy Book?

      As for the Nephilim – I don't see how they can be taken seriously. Christians seldom mention them becuase they are so ridiculous that it detracts from the religion's credibility. The demonic children of fallen angels, ten of whom God left on Earth after the flood to try and lead man astray.
      The Book of Enoch elaborates their story, along with that of Grigori, the watcher angels (some of whom got jiggy with human women and taught humans forbidden knowledge, like how to put on make up).

      But you and I both know that I am not a believe in angels, demons, prophets, faith healers, easter zombies or any other kind of supernatural shamanic chicanery.

      March 13, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Tim

      Austin
      "the sons of God saw that the daughters of man were attractive."

      Just how many "sons" did God have?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Tim

      Austin
      The Quran actually agrees with the Big Bang Theory much better than the Bible does.

      “And the heaven We created with might, and indeed We are (its) expander.” (Quran 51:47)

      March 13, 2013 at 10:34 am |
    • Austin

      Tim
      Sins of God. Refers to the angels which kept not their heavenly estate. The fallen angels, possessed men's bodies, grew with women. And gave birth to giants. Hence the term, Nephilum. They had a plan to corrupt the humane DNA , preventing the messiah through the defiling of flesh

      March 13, 2013 at 12:01 pm |
    • Austin

      Tim l. Sons of Gd.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Austin

      Doc, That's a good question about the Christians sequel to the Hasidic old testament. I can see why one would ask this, and I was aware of this as I wrote about the Quran.

      For me, it comes down to a study of the messianic prophecy from the old testament. I also through struggling with the name of Jesus expreienced spiritual revaluation. So I know I'm in the right place , not saying I am spiritual there yet.

      The old testament clearly foreshadows the lamb of God, moses Passover, Isaac on the altar, tunics of skin, Isaiah 53 and the rest of the prophetic word that reveals a coming messiah. The prophecies about the coming day of the Lord talk about a messiah, not a prophet.

      I don't think it is idolatry to believe in the resurrection. I believe it. The virgin birth is in support of the dieity of Christ and His resurrection. And He clearly sovereignly fulfills old testament foreshadowing and prophecy. The groom prepares a place for the bride.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Tim

      Austin
      So, Jesus was just one of these fallen angels, or do you mean that there were many meanings to the t.itle "Son of God"?

      March 15, 2013 at 9:57 am |
  17. Atheist, me?

    Atheists who do not love their neighbor as themselves will fight xtians over trivialities. Agape love works. What other proof for the Bible do u need?

    March 12, 2013 at 3:20 pm |
    • I Paint Houses

      Are you a latent appliance fetishist?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Painter
      I am an "I love my neighbor as myself" fetishist n I love you as myself.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • I Paint Houses

      Have you yet to admit to yourself that s.exual gratification can only be achieved through the use of machines?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      When u love your spouse as yourself se.x becomes fulfilling not just gratifying.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
    • I Paint Houses

      So you are a latent appliance fetishist.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Alias

      I like this SO MUCH i'll say it again:
      Religion does do good things for people. In many different context.
      There is a great deal of wisdom in the bible.
      People who live according to the golden rule will have good things come their way – most of the time.
      That doesn't mean your god exists.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      When you first learn to love yourself, your love for your neighbor can only multiply.

      If you believe, as Christianity teaches you, that you are dirty, sinful and unworthy of love, how much CAN you love yourself? If then you love your neighbor as you love yourself, do you love your neighbor at all?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • fred

      myweightinwords
      “If you believe, as Christianity teaches you, that you are dirty, sinful and unworthy of love, how much CAN you love yourself?”
      =>It is not just Christianity it a thread of the Bible, Old and New Testament. The thrust of the thread is that God is a burning holiness such that even the seraphim cover their eyes and no man can look at God and live. It began in the Garden when Adam and Eve rejected unity with God they suddenly saw themselves naked and ashamed.
      Naked and exposed for what we really are without God. God provided a way that allows our soul to express and fulfill all that it was purposed for in the Glory of God. Do that and you will have the love and peace that transcends all understanding.

      Reject God and run off with your manmade version of love which really boils down to self love which is what you see and why you say “ If then you love your neighbor as you love yourself, do you love your neighbor at all?”

      You have the right idea just misplaced God is all.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Akira

      I reject the notion of self worship; I think this is personality flaw that in no way encompasses most people.
      I have heard this posited by some of the posters on BB; I think it is wholly absurd.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Fred,

      =>It is not just Christianity it a thread of the Bible, Old and New Testament.

      I recognize that. My personal experience and knowledge is with Christianity however I do not like to speak about that which I do not understand.

      The thrust of the thread is that God is a burning holiness such that even the seraphim cover their eyes and no man can look at God and live. It began in the Garden when Adam and Eve rejected unity with God they suddenly saw themselves naked and ashamed.

      It starts with a supposedly perfect god who creates a purposefully imperfect being and then tells that being he is imperfect and therefore unclean.

      Naked and exposed for what we really are without God.

      Naked and exposed. Before the being that purportedly created us. Purportedly loves us, yet can't stand to look at us because we aren't perfect? Something is deeply wrong there.

      God provided a way that allows our soul to express and fulfill all that it was purposed for in the Glory of God. Do that and you will have the love and peace that transcends all understanding.

      I already have love and peace that transcends anything I have ever known. I found it when I realized I wasn't evil or dirty or worthy of eternal torment. When I began to love myself. It freed me up to love others in ways I couldn't even imagine before.

      Reject God and run off with your manmade version of love which really boils down to self love which is what you see and why you say “ If then you love your neighbor as you love yourself, do you love your neighbor at all?”

      I can only hope that one day you truly find love, Fred. And when you do, you will understand that there is nothing wrong with loving yourself.

      I say what I said because I look at the world and I see how Christians who claim to love their neighbors as they love themselves treat their neighbors and themselves. I make no claims about god, only about the transformative power of learning that you are not evil and that nothing you could ever do in this finite life is worthy of eternal torment.

      You have the right idea just misplaced God is all.

      No, I know right where the Christian god is. I just don't need his judgment any more. Thanks.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • fred

      myweightinwords
      “It starts with a supposedly perfect god who creates a purposefully imperfect being and then tells that being he is imperfect and therefore unclean.”
      =>no, we were designed to be in unity with God. Today we call that being in the will of God. When in unity with God “imperfect and unclean” is not a part of that existence.

      “ Before the being that purportedly created us. Purportedly loves us, yet can't stand to look at us because we aren't perfect? Something is deeply wrong there.”
      =>yes, because you have it all wrong. All of your thoughts that you have expressed in just this post are inconsistent with God. God is perfect goodness and you must remember it was man that suddenly realized he was naked and exposed before God even entered the scene.

      “I already have love and peace that transcends anything I have ever known. I found it when I realized I wasn't evil or dirty or worthy of eternal torment.”
      =>some forget the Bible often uses symbolic picture type language common today in the Middle East. Eternal torment and being worthy of eternal torment is translated in many ways at different points. The point is to realize that we have been deceived by this world in so many ways that we really can no longer find our own way back to the Garden (that place where we really can be our loving selves).

      “When I began to love myself. It freed me up to love others in ways I couldn't even imagine before.”
      =>are you in a long term committed relationship that is real or just a bunch of associations where everyone loves themselves but just happen to occupy the same space and time?

      “I can only hope that one day you truly find love, Fred. And when you do, you will understand that there is nothing wrong with loving yourself.”
      =>I don’t know that loving myself would change anything. I can trust God and love God which is overwhelming in itself. I treat others as I would want to be treated and express Gods love through my giving in the community.

      “No, I know right where the Christian god is. I just don't need his judgment any more. Thanks.”
      =>God is perfect love and goodness that is infinite in all directions and time. Your thoughts of judgment are inconsistent with the nature of God. Perhaps you are confused as to how God administers perfect goodness and perfect justice?

      March 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      @fred – " God is perfect goodness and you must remember it was man that suddenly realized he was naked and exposed before God even entered the scene."

      Was it not the eating of the forbidden fruit that opened Adam and Eve's eyes, letting them be like God, knowing good and bad that made them aware of their nakedness?

      "are you in a long term committed relationship that is real or just a bunch of associations where everyone loves themselves but just happen to occupy the same space and time?" Are you a pervert? Get your head out of the gutter. Every single Christian I know has the dirtiest minds, when you say the word "gay" to them they immediately imagine two dudes getting all hot and muddy. It's disgusting and insulting. When someone says "Hey, my brother just met a girl and they really like each other!" I certainly hope the initial thoughts are of two people who are in love, holding hands, kissing, finding all kinds of things in common, butterfly's in the stomach, not the image of some ripped and torn wedding gown with the bride getting pounded on the bathroom sink. You betray yourselves every time you wince or smirk at someone who you think doesn't share the same boring vanilla s e x life as you.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • Austin

      If a gay man can't love a woman than he is incapable of love.

      We are all tempted to do things we should not do because God says not to.

      But who cares if they struggle with a weird temptation (in my opinion). Being in to gay is same as being in to po.rn. Sensual indulgence. Habitual sin is even a seperate worse level. Declaring sin. Now we declare gay marriage? This is an attack on Gods word. Please have a civil union by all means. But don't pervert a sacred word and meaning.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Mass Debater

      @Austin – So you are saying that you are a pervert. Okay. Got it.

      The rest of us, whether gay or straight, can think about love without having to think about p o r n. You betray yourself with your bigoted words. The generation of intolerance is dried up and past and will soon float away like so much useless chaff.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:26 am |
    • Mass Debater

      "don't pervert a sacred word and meaning."

      The word "marriage" derives from Middle English mariage, which first appears in 1250–1300 CE This in turn is derived from Old French marier (to marry) and ultimately Latin marītāre meaning to provide with a husband or wife and marītāri meaning to get married. The adjective marīt-us -a, -um meaning matrimonial or nuptial could also be used in the masculine form as a noun for "husband" and in the feminine form for "wife."[11] The related word "matrimony" derives from the Old French word matremoine which appears around 1300 CE and ultimately derives from Latin mātrimōnium which combines the two concepts mater meaning "mother" and the suffix -monium signifying "action, state, or condition."

      With every gay couple I know there is one who is more masculine and one who is more feminine, I see no problem why they would not fit both the word and meaning. And if you want to say "Well some could never be mothers" while that is true, it is also true of many women who are barren and still get married and have happy lives and adopt or have a surrogate, just like any gay couple should be able to do.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:34 am |
    • Austin

      Why am I a p.ervert for mentioning p.orn as s.ensual indulgence ? Are you making an as.sumption?

      rewarding sin with a tax break is p.impish.

      And children deserve a home, but a mom and dad too. A same s.ex couple shouldn't be ahead of a traditional couple, because a mom And dad is better for a child.

      Take away tax breaks for marriages between a man and woman without children! Just so same se.x couples dont qualify, or the gov is rewarding habitual sin.

      I don't think this secular country is a Christian country, but Gods word it the future authority for the world.

      Go ahead and join hands and everyone jump off a cliff together. Secular world religion.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:17 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Lenn are u gay? Well don't worry I love u as myself nonetheless! Problem is most gay people asking me whether having gay se.x is a sin. I am just as much of a sinner as u if not more. Its just God's help I call upon each day.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:06 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      I think the problem with atheists is that they think their brain and their minds are one n the same which is not true. The Bible is about allowing your mind to be controlled by your spirit. To do this the spirit needs an external Holy Spirit. He is attracted by charitable love because he is charitable love. He is our God. So our God does exist if charitable love exists.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:19 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Loving yourself is pride. Loving your neighbor as yourself is self esteem. Problem is these are two att.itudes which produce similar behaviour. Distinguishing factors are very hard to find. However when you find yourself enjoying immorality you r usually proud. And people with self esteem are mostly moral.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:28 am |
    • Mass Debater

      "If a gay man can't love a woman than he is incapable of love."

      That is why I called you a pervert Austin. Because you and most other Christians think in one dimension, sin. You can think of love only in terms of what the Greek would call eros. The fact is that gay people can feel all the other aspects of love as well, the agape and philia. Think for a moment what you just said using the greek terms for love.

      "If a gay man can't eros a woman than he is incapable of eros." What an ignorant and bigoted thing to say and so narrow minded as to think gay people have such simple feelings, that they somehow would be void of agape, that deep love for your fellow man or woman, or philia, the loyal and virtuous love of friends, family and community. Shame on you for being so disgustingly ignorant. I myself am not gay, I am happily married with a beautiful daughter going on four, but I have many friends who are gay and they are some of the finest people I know and more trustworthy than my past Christian church group. The facts are the facts, people are born gay, their is nothing sinful about them and people who turn their noses up at them and turn their backs on them are the disgusting ones. Shame on you.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:31 am |
    • Mass Debater

      "Loving yourself is pride. Loving your neighbor as yourself is self esteem. Problem is these are two att.itudes which produce similar behaviour. Distinguishing factors are very hard to find."

      Boy, what they let call themselves Christian these days... sad.

      If you do not love yourself, you cannot even understand how to love others. I can understand why someone like you might not love themselves, because you have to respect yourself before you can learn to love yourself. If you don't respect a thief, and you want to respect yourself, then you won't be a thief. If you don't respect a murderer, and you want to respect yourself, then you won't be a murderer. Once you respect yourself you can love yourself, and once you love yourself, you can love others. If you wouldn't sit down at a table with yourself then you are a scared child running from the responsibility of owning up to your actions, not going to some priest to have them absolved each week. I was ashamed I used to count myself among you, but i forgave myself, stopped being a part of my Church and started to respect myself. It was the most freeing experience of my life after over 30 years in the Church and spending 10 years as a pastor.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:41 am |
    • Atheist, me?

      Mass D
      Funny that u say I am a fake Xtian. Was it cos u were a religious xtian rather than a spiritual xtian?
      I met an old lady who was also a religious xtian cleric and left too.
      If you do not understand the import of the two greatest Commandments just what were you preaching?
      I am a Minister too and I practise chariitable love. I have practised self love too after a do it as yourself book advised it.
      They are not the same. One just makes you feel good. The other makes you do good. You cannot love others as yourself by first loving yourself. Most people will like your antics but not you. Just learn to love your neighbor as yourself.

      March 13, 2013 at 4:20 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Fred, I am not going to respond to the bulk of your response because it just the same old rehashing/rewording/twisting stuff around to justify what you believe. Trust me when I tell you I have been where you are. I have believed as you do. I know the rhetoric inside and out. It doesn't work for me.

      However, I do have to address this comment:

      =>are you in a long term committed relationship that is real or just a bunch of associations where everyone loves themselves but just happen to occupy the same space and time?

      What does my relationship status have to do with anything we're talking about? Is that all you can equate the word "love" to? When I talk about loving myself opening me up to love others, I wasn't talking about finding my life partner or what have you.

      I have people in my life that I love wholly and unconditionally. I am also currently single and not dating. The two have nothing to do with one another.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Austin,

      If a gay man can't love a woman than he is incapable of love.

      I'm sorry, what? Does the word "love" equal the word "sex" in your mind?

      Most gay man are fully capable of loving a woman, just not in a romantic way.

      We are all tempted to do things we should not do because God says not to.

      If "we" do not believe in or follow your god, it matters little to us what he says not to do. There is a difference.

      But who cares if they struggle with a weird temptation (in my opinion).

      You got part of that right. Who cares? But the part you shouldn't be caring about? Who they love.

      Being in to gay is same as being in to po.rn.

      Then being straight is also the same as being into porn. What are you even saying?

      Being gay is not about sex. Being gay is about who you love, who you are attracted to, who you want to spend your life with. Just like straight folks, sex is eventually part of it, but it is not all of it.

      Sensual indulgence. Habitual sin is even a seperate worse level. Declaring sin. Now we declare gay marriage? This is an attack on Gods word. Please have a civil union by all means. But don't pervert a sacred word and meaning.

      Marriage is not a Christian word. It has meant many things over the centuries. It does not belong to any one faith. Today it is a contract between two people to share their lives and build a family. Period. If you can allow Muslims to get married and atheists to get married and Jews, Buddhists, Hinuds, etc to get married, you can NOT claim religious privilege over the word.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Austin,

      Why am I a p.ervert for mentioning p.orn as s.ensual indulgence ? Are you making an as.sumption?

      You are a pervert for equating being gay with porn. It tells us that all you are thinking about is the sex.

      rewarding sin with a tax break is p.impish.

      Sin is not even consistently defined between Christian groups, let alone across the religious spectrum. The word "sin" has no bearing on legal issues nor does it negate a civil right.

      And children deserve a home, but a mom and dad too. A same s.ex couple shouldn't be ahead of a traditional couple, because a mom And dad is better for a child.

      1) That isn't always true. 2) No one wants to put a same gendered couple "ahead" of a traditional, opposite gendered couple, only to have them equal. 3) With as many children as we have in this country in foster care and state homes and orphanages, there are PLENTY of kids who have neither a mother or a father, kids that loving gay couples would offer shelter, comfort, emotional support and love.

      Take away tax breaks for marriages between a man and woman without children! Just so same se.x couples dont qualify, or the gov is rewarding habitual sin.

      Again, sin has no bearing here. None. We are a secular nation with secular laws. The tax code affords certain breaks for married couples. Those breaks should be uniform. Period. However, those aren't the only things on the line here. There are lots of other issues, including inheritance, hospital visitation, end of life decisions, etc that are also impacted.

      Imagine being in love, spending years building a life with the person you love, then being denied visitation as they lay dying in a hospital, unable to make the decisions about their care, about the how and where and when of burial/funeral/etc.

      I don't think this secular country is a Christian country, but Gods word it the future authority for the world.

      You got the first part right. The last part, not so much.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:25 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Atheist, me?

      Loving yourself is pride.

      Loving yourself CAN be pride. However, it can also be a life saving act.

      Loving your neighbor as yourself is self esteem.

      Only if you actually love yourself. If you don't, if you think of yourself as an evil, dirty sinner...if you consider yourself unworthy of love, then you are going to project that on everyone around you.

      Problem is these are two att.itudes which produce similar behaviour. Distinguishing factors are very hard to find.

      Not really. A person who loves themselves in a healthy way (not self-worship, not undue pride, etc) and as such, learns to love the world around them, the people around them, are usually happy, giving, generous with words and time and money, not out of obligation or some sense of reward to come, but because it is good and right and affirming to do so.

      However when you find yourself enjoying immorality you r usually proud. And people with self esteem are mostly moral.

      Define immorality. Define pride. Is it wrong to have an amount of pride in your accomplishments? Is it moral to show off what charity you do? Is it moral to insult and denigrate those who are different? Is it pride to be different?

      March 13, 2013 at 10:38 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Atheist, me?

      This was directed at MD, but I hope you won't mind me responding.

      Funny that u say I am a fake Xtian. Was it cos u were a religious xtian rather than a spiritual xtian?

      I didn't say this, and I don't think MD necessarily said it either. However, I was once both a religious and a spiritual Christian. I left for many reasons, but one of them was certainly the lack of real love.

      If you do not understand the import of the two greatest Commandments just what were you preaching?

      You can preach it, and not understand it. I've seen many who do. This is one area that I think that Jesus fella got right, even if he glossed over the details a little. Love your neighbor as yourself, he says. But it implies first off that you love yourself in some fashion. Otherwise, he has just told you to treat your neighbor like the crap you feel you are.

      I am a Minister too and I practise chariitable love.

      What does that look like to you? When I hear the words "charitable love" I immediately think "condescending" and "let me show you how my way is better".

      I have practised self love too after a do it as yourself book advised it.

      If you have ever actually loved yourself, you would know it changes you, it changes everything. And here's the kicker, it isn't about you.

      In the end, learning to love yourself, to give yourself permission to be who you are, who you were born to be, who your life experiences has made you, makes you free enough to get the heck out of the way and stop obsessing about other people and what they do right or wrong and just love them.

      They are not the same. One just makes you feel good. The other makes you do good.

      Yes, I agree, but I think you have them reversed.

      You cannot love others as yourself by first loving yourself.

      Wrong. So very wrong. MD is right. Until you can love yourself unconditionally and freely, any "love" you give your neighbor is selfish and done for the wrong reasons.

      Most people will like your antics but not you. Just learn to love your neighbor as yourself.

      The beauty is, if you love yourself, it doesn't matter if they like you. It isn't about being liked. It isn't about you at all.

      Try to understand that.

      March 13, 2013 at 10:52 am |
    • Austin

      Éros (ἔρως érōs[2]) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing

      Philia (φιλία philía[3]) means affectionate regard or friendship in both ancient and modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers

      Agápe (ἀγάπη agápē[1]) means "love," such as in the term s'agapo (Σ'αγαπώ), which means "I love you." In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper

      My point about saying if a gay man can't love a woman he is incapable of love, had nothing to do with Eros love. Eros love is the worst reason to want to marry someone. Eros love is physical. Our flesh is fallen. And while you should be attracted you also should not serve your flesh .

      Agape love, and Philia love are the types of love that are more important in the commitment to love someone. We all know people who run off in an insane affair. "oh I'm so in love". No you are brainwashed by your deceitful flesh. You are in sin.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Austin

      Just because two people truly love each other doesn't mean they should get married either. I was in love with a non believer who was head deep into selfish living , as in not living for God. I broke it off. It hurt bad. But the most important thing is the upbringing of children and spiritual leadership. She was 8 years older than me, she was very wealthy, I loved her deeply, as well as her four year old son, and she wanted another baby. I don't have kids. I want all of the above, but not with someone who rejects God. She was depriving her son of a spiritual upbringing and the conviction in me said, get out of here. He has a better plan. Be patient trust God.

      It takes time to heal and to face up to broken dreams. But I was attached and cried for months. I made the right choice.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Austin,

      I am not sure what that has to do with the rest of the conversation. I'm sorry for your pain. I hope you can find someone who shares your passion.

      What does that have to do with two people in love who are willing to do the work, want to spend their life together and raise a family?

      March 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      MWW
      I think the problem with most "spiritual and religious xtians" is That they don't understand that you can't be both. It is an either or proposition. You are either replicating Christ's mindset or just following someone's theology. Loving yourself is something very natural to humans though there is a measure of loving others too. People like Mother Theres cannot be accused of selfishness by loving others as themselves without loving themselves. You know why? Itdoes not make you depressed when you love your neighbor as yourself. It enhances you as you realise that you and everybody else are one. It helps one to break free from abisive relationships which normally humans fall into cos it makes you gain insight into human behaviour. Lastly, the whole Bible will not make sense until you learn to love others as yourself. That is the essence of the Book. I have found outt that it allows the brain to function better. For the most part I have analysed the behavior of several of the proud folks in my family. Several have confessed how suicidal they feel. Some have moral failings that will shock a gay man. I have also taught several people to let "I love my neighbor as myself" dominate their thoughts and all repirt higher self esteem, increased ability to think intellectually, higher emotional stability and higher moral behaviour.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Akira
      For a liberal open-minded pro-gay person you seem very conservative when it comes to Christians. How many people cannot separate their love for someone from his actions? Look to the Clintons. It is so possible! I love you as myself!

      March 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      I think the problem with most "spiritual and religious xtians" is That they don't understand that you can't be both. It is an either or proposition.

      I disagree. I think you can be a very spiritual Christian and still get caught up in the religious dogma. We are human beings after all. We are seldom completely one thing and not any part of the other thing.

      You are either replicating Christ's mindset or just following someone's theology.

      Or you're believing that you're attempting to replicate "Christ's mindset" but in actuality are just following someone's theology. Even if that someone is you.

      Loving yourself is something very natural to humans though there is a measure of loving others too.

      I don't think this is true. Remember, I'm not talking about ego or pride here. I'm not talking about the idea of love. I'm talking about absolute, unconditional acceptance of self, and a deep love for the person you are, the gift you are giving, forgiving yourself for mistakes, etc. I think this is actually very hard. I know it was for me, and I still have days, heck, weeks where I don't get there.

      I still have days I can't even look at myself in the mirror.

      People like Mother Theresa cannot be accused of selfishness by loving others as themselves without loving themselves.

      Mother Theresa, judging clearly by the suffering she let happen around her and which she said was a wonderful thing, clearly never loved herself, nor those around her.

      You know why? Itdoes not make you depressed when you love your neighbor as yourself.

      I never said it did.

      However, if you love your neighbor by insulting them, pushing them to convert to a faith not their own, dismissing their civil rights, etc....you might look to how you feel about yourself...deep down inside of you.

      It enhances you as you realise that you and everybody else are one. It helps one to break free from abisive relationships which normally humans fall into cos it makes you gain insight into human behaviour.

      Any person I have ever known in an abusive relationship got there because they did not love themselves. Because they believed that they were worthy of the abuse. Having been a part of a group that helped women escape abusive relationships, I've known a few. To this day I am on a call list for emergency pick ups.

      It isn't helping anyone else that gave them the strength to leave. It was learning to love themselves that did.

      Lastly, the whole Bible will not make sense until you learn to love others as yourself. That is the essence of the Book.

      In walking away from the bible, I learned to love myself. By learning to love myself, I learned to love others, not just as I love myself, but without condition, without judgment (still working on that without judgement part for myself). My spiritual calling is one of service. As a Christian I believed that I was called to serve because I was unworthy of anything but service. Now I realize that there is no higher calling.

      I have found outt that it allows the brain to function better. For the most part I have analysed the behavior of several of the proud folks in my family. Several have confessed how suicidal they feel. Some have moral failings that will shock a gay man. I have also taught several people to let "I love my neighbor as myself" dominate their thoughts and all repirt higher self esteem, increased ability to think intellectually, higher emotional stability and higher moral behaviour.

      Something about this comes across as very condescending to me. Most people who are suicidal feel they are wrong or dirty or unworthy. I have never met someone who loved themself who was suicidal.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Mass Debater

      Thank you MWIW, you took on the good fight after I went to bed.

      To Austin,

      You can yap all you want about sin and what you think is best for a child, but the actual studys of gay parents shows they are better at it than their hetro counterparts, so your premise that kid's "need" a mom and a dad is your opinion, nothing more.

      The fact is, you are a bigot so it's no wonder that your imagined God is a bigot as well.

      March 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • fred

      Mass Debater
      Please let me know exactly what sources you have that back up gays making better parents.
      You need to be aware that great political and external pressure is put on at all levels when it comes to any attempt to release unbiased research regarding gays. I will give you an example. On this web site alone the majority of atheists attempt to drive home a lie that male to male $ex is every bit as safe and natural as the way 98% of the worlds population has traditionally experienced. That is simply on one aspect of an alternate lifestyle. It also happens to be the most important because such intentional misinformation continues to lead into great harm and unnecessary suffering in gay community.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:01 pm |
    • Austin

      That's not what the studies and data from Switzerland reveals according to what I was listening to. Your claim that gays are "better at raising children". .

      Enough said. You have a commitment to your ideas. I don't have any reason to debate this issue. Or to diss anyone.

      I only want to be an effective witness to the ministry of the Holy Spirit, I trust in then living Word. all things were made through Him.

      March 13, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      fred,

      On this web site alone the majority of atheists attempt to drive home a lie that male to male $ex is every bit as safe and natural as the way 98% of the worlds population has traditionally experienced. That is simply on one aspect of an alternate lifestyle. It also happens to be the most important because such intentional misinformation continues to lead into great harm and unnecessary suffering in gay community.

      Are you specifically referring to anal intercourse? Because 1) That is not the be all and end all (if you'll pardon the expression) of gay sexuality. 2) It can be just as safe as hetero intercourse. 3) Hetero intercourse can be just as dangerous.

      There are also a lot of hetero couples who engage in and enjoy anal intercourse.

      And, not to put too fine a point on it, but some of the same issues with "damage" are present in vaginal intercourse if there is not enough natural lubrication produced. Proper lubrication and a condom (and the right foreplay), and both anal and vagina intercourse are fairly safe.

      March 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • fred

      Myweightinwods
      Ouch! Just a bit too visual for me.
      You are correct since you used the word “can”. Unfortunately, that is not typically the case and STD’s rates reflect that most people do not do what they should do rather what they can do.
      The lining of the colon is much thinner containing harmful bacteria and not designed by God (or evolution if you prefer) to be penetrated.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • Ted

      fred is speaking from experience. He likes the more sensitive thin membrane side.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tim

      Ted, yeah, fred is a wide receiver rather than a tight end, though. And probably never the QB.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
    • James

      "But who cares if they struggle with a weird temptation (in my opinion). Being in to gay is same as being in to po.rn. Sensual indulgence. Habitual sin is even a seperate worse level. Declaring sin. Now we declare gay marriage? This is an attack on Gods word. Please have a civil union by all means. But don't pervert a sacred word and meaning."

      The scriptures actually say nothing about homosexuality as a psychosexual orientation. Our understandings of sexual orientation are distinctly modern ones that were not present in the minds of Scripture writers. A few passages of Scripture (seven at the most) object to certain types of same-sex expressions or acts. The particular acts in question, however, are sexual expressions which are exploitative, oppressive, commercialized, or offensive to ancient purity rituals. There is no Scriptural guidance for same-sex relationships which are loving and mutually respecting. Guidelines for these relationships should come from the same general Scriptural norms that apply to heterosexual relationships.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Really?

      "Please let me know exactly what sources you have that back up gays making better parents.
      You need to be aware that great political and external pressure is put on at all levels when it comes to any attempt to release unbiased research regarding gays. I will give you an example. On this web site alone the majority of atheists attempt to drive home a lie that male to male $ex is every bit as safe and natural as the way 98% of the worlds population has traditionally experienced. That is simply on one aspect of an alternate lifestyle. It also happens to be the most important because such intentional misinformation continues to lead into great harm and unnecessary suffering in gay community."

      The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."

      Like their heterosexual counterparts, many gay and lesbian people want to form stable, long-lasting, committed relationships. Indeed, many of them do and that large proportions are currently involved in such a relationship and that a substantial number of those couples have been together 10 or more years.

      Research demonstrates that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners closely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Heterosexual and same-sex couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, equity, loyalty, and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Research examining the quality of intimate relationships also shows that gay and lesbian couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples.

      A large number of gay and lesbian couples raise children. Children and teenagers whose parents provide loving guidance in the context of secure home environments are more likely to flourish – and this is just as true for children of same-sex parents as it is for children of opposite-sex parents. Based on research findings, mental health professionals have also reached a consensus that the quality of relationships among significant adults in a child’s or adolescent’s life is associated with adjustment. When relationships between parents are characterized by love, warmth, cooperation, security, and mutual support, children and adolescents are more likely to show positive adjustment. In contrast, when relationships between parents are conflict-ridden and acrimonious, the adjustment of children and adolescents is likely to be less favorable. These correlations are just as true for children of same-sex parents as for children of opposite-sex parents.

      Assertions that heterosexual couples are inherently better parents than same sex couples, or that the children of lesbian or gay parents fare worse than children of heterosexual parents, have no support in the scientific research literature. On the contrary, the scientific research that has directly compared outcomes for children with gay and lesbian parents with outcomes for children with heterosexual parents has consistently shown that the former are as fit and capable as the latter and that their children are as psychologically healthy and well adjusted as children reared by heterosexual parents.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Really?

      " Your claim that gays are "better at raising children". . "

      Social science has shown that the concerns often raised about children of lesbian and gay parents—concerns that are generally grounded in prejudice against and stereotypes about gay people—are unfounded. Overall, the research indicates that the children of lesbian and gay parents do not differ from the children of heterosexual parents in their development, adjustment, or overall well-being.

      March 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      MWW
      I am glad you found the part about those I thought to love their neighbor as their own self experiencing higher self esteem, tbetter intellectual ability, more emotional stability and better moral standing condescending. It shows clearly that when faced with evidence about the weakness of self love like a typical proud person you will not be happy but rather feel threatened that you could be wrong. I have conducted behavioral experiments and it is so easy to be a charitable person that its amazing how many people believe it can't be done and give up like you. No wonder we still find Christ extraordinary for doing this. I can assure you that the self loathing you experience comes from the 'I love myself' philosophy currently dominating your thoughts. I have felt that way before too. It stopped when "I love my neighbor as myself" became my dominant thought. It was a conscious effort like the Apostles advise.

      March 13, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      Atheist, me?

      I am glad you found the part about those I thought to love their neighbor as their own self experiencing higher self esteem, tbetter intellectual ability, more emotional stability and better moral standing condescending.

      It was the attitude I found condescending

      From experience I can tell you that what you are more likely teaching them is to hide their depression, self worth issues and problems behind a facade of good deeds that in actuality provide little more than a momentary bump of feeling good.

      It shows clearly that when faced with evidence about the weakness of self love like a typical proud person you will not be happy but rather feel threatened that you could be wrong.

      I do not feel that I am a proud person. I have proud moments, sure. We all do. We are human. I speak only from experience. Helping others, mimicking love for others never helped me over come the crippling self-doubt, fear and belief that I was dirt. I was only going through the motions.

      I have conducted behavioral experiments and it is so easy to be a charitable person that its amazing how many people believe it can't be done and give up like you.

      There is a difference between performing charitable acts and loving your neighbor. People are charitable for any number of reasons. In today's society it often gets them something in return, tax breaks, standing in the community, public image, etc.

      And what makes you think I am not a charitable person? I give my time, my money, my artistic ability to my community. I donate to causes, I volunteer with food banks and various non profits. I provide photographic services for non profit and charitable cause websites and organizations at cost or below. I give of myself in many, many small ways and more than a few big ones.

      Today I give more of myself to others than I ever could as a Christian. I just don't need any accolades or public acknowledgement, because it isn't something that needs reward. It is just the right thing to do.

      No wonder we still find Christ extraordinary for doing this. I can assure you that the self loathing you experience comes from the 'I love myself' philosophy currently dominating your thoughts.

      But I don't experience it any more. That's my point. I have days where I don't necessarily love myself unconditionally and I judge myself harshly. But I do not feel dirty, or broken or less than anymore. I am beautiful and strong and I offer my considerable love to the world around me.

      And my love for others is so profound now that I'm not sure that I can adequately describe it.

      I have felt that way before too. It stopped when "I love my neighbor as myself" became my dominant thought. It was a conscious effort like the Apostles advise.

      But, I ask DO you love yourself? How can you love your neighbor as yourself if you do not love yourself?

      If you approach the world believing that you are innately broken, wrong, dirty, sinful, you see the world as innately broken, wrong, dirty, sinful, you see your neighbors that way. How do you love something that is innately broken, wrong, dirty, sinful? Can you love without condition? Can you look past all the things you might find dirty or bad and help someone without comment on what you see as their sin?

      Can you sit next to a homeless man on a bus and just have a conversation? Can you hold the gay man whose husband is dying and comfort him without launching into a sermon on his "sin"?

      March 14, 2013 at 10:48 am |
    • myweightinwords

      fred,

      Myweightinwods
      Ouch! Just a bit too visual for me.

      Sorry. I believe in blunt talk about these things. It dispels bad information, cuts through confusion and lays everything bare...so to speak.

      You are correct since you used the word “can”. Unfortunately, that is not typically the case and STD’s rates reflect that most people do not do what they should do rather what they can do.

      That is an issue with education and also with passion. We human beings don't always think clearly when we are caught up in love and the acts of love. I know a fair number of gay men. I haven't done a scientific study, but those I've talked to about it haven't ever had any damage issues, aside from one who was raped in prison.

      The lining of the colon is much thinner containing harmful bacteria and not designed by God (or evolution if you prefer) to be penetrated.

      If the anal cavity was not meant to be penetrated, why is the prostate located there? Why does it provide what I am told is amazing sexual stimulation?

      March 14, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Thoughts

      " How do you love something that is innately broken, wrong, dirty, sinful? Can you love without condition? Can you look past all the things you might find dirty or bad and help someone without comment on what you see as their sin? "

      MWW you are right in your thoughts. I read this statement and I realized that no, they can not because of the replies too all the atheists here, their posts reek of judgement and condemnation which is why Atheist me accused you of doing what they are guilty of themselves. You are an inspiration and a breath of fresh air on this blog. Thank you for posting.

      March 14, 2013 at 11:00 am |
    • Atheists are us

      MWW
      You just do not understand do you. i do not mimic charitable love. I didn't say I was a philantrophist but rather a charitable person. I do not feel I am sick or sinful or dead or any of those things you accuse yourself of feeling when you were a religious Christian. It is hard for you to imagine a Christian who is happy so it seems you might have been in a Conservative sour and dour Church. I would have advised youy to get out myself. However loving my neighbor as myself is possible because I do exactly that not because I am selfish. And yes I don't hate gays either. There is a feeling that I have that most of you so open-minded atheists don't realise that we think. I just am able to follow the moral dictates of my religion because I love my neighbor as myself. i find that spiritually liberating, intellectually stimulating and emotionally stabilising. hope you come to that realisation someday. As I always say it takes experience to leatrn that kind of love or grace. Whichever comes first for you!

      March 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      You just do not understand do you.

      Clearly we are both apparently talking past one another.

      i do not mimic charitable love. I didn't say I was a philantrophist but rather a charitable person.

      I said nothing about you specifically. And I asked you to define what you meant so I could better understand. You haven't done so. Thus I can only operate based on the way you present yourself.

      I do not feel I am sick or sinful or dead or any of those things you accuse yourself of feeling when you were a religious Christian.

      Good for you. However, the basic premise of Christianity is that we are all worthless sinners incapable of good and unworthy of "god". Yes, in my case that teaching was blown way out of proportion (and to be fair my life circumstances contributed to that emotional situation as well).

      It is hard for you to imagine a Christian who is happy so it seems you might have been in a Conservative sour and dour Church.

      Actually, it isn't that hard to imagine at all. I know many Christian friends who are happy and loving people. You make big assumptions about me based on the very little we have spoken.

      I would have advised youy to get out myself. However loving my neighbor as myself is possible because I do exactly that not because I am selfish.

      Neither am I. Loving yourself isn't selfish. Of course, taken to an extreme it is. But that isn't what I'm talking about at all.

      And yes I don't hate gays either.

      Good for you. I wasn't trying to imply that you were. I just pulled two specific incidents from my recent experience in which Christians disparaged people who just needed a little human compassion because they didn't think the hurting people were...worthy? I'm not sure. I just know that their response was to shun the men in question.

      There is a feeling that I have that most of you so open-minded atheists don't realise that we think.

      1) I am not an atheist. 2) I am, however, pretty open minded....just not so open minded that my brain falls out. 3) I actually operate on the principle that everyone thinks, that everyone is teachable, that everyone believes what they do sincerely and not because they are trying to fit in or stand out. To be honest, if I thought you weren't a thinking individual, I wouldn't engage you at all.

      I just am able to follow the moral dictates of my religion because I love my neighbor as myself.

      There isn't anything wrong with that per-se. It works for you. That's the point of a faith, of a religion. I couldn't while following that same religion.

      Also, I might point out, my question was "Do you love yourself"....and if you are actually capable of loving your neighbors, without being condescending, without acting as though you are above them in any way, without condemning them or holding them to your own standards, my answer would be that yes you do.

      There is no shame in that.

      i find that spiritually liberating, intellectually stimulating and emotionally stabilising. hope you come to that realisation someday. As I always say it takes experience to leatrn that kind of love or grace. Whichever comes first for you!

      I already have, as I have said repeatedly. I just had to come at it from a different direction and from a different faith system. I had to learn to love myself before I could ever love someone else.

      March 14, 2013 at 3:22 pm |
    • fred

      myweightinwords
      “However, the basic premise of Christianity is that we are all worthless sinners incapable of good and unworthy of "god".”
      =>no, the basic premise of Christianity is that Jesus has made a way for us to experience eternal life through simply accepting the gift of love from God. People reject God for all sorts of reasons but the bottom line is that they like their life just the way it is thank you.

      “ Yes, in my case that teaching was blown way out of proportion (and to be fair my life circu mstances contributed to that emotional situation as well).”
      =>emotional attachments that are formed positively with Christ or in the Old days the God of Abraham are real and enduring. When you reach a place where you’re willing to let go of the false love and security offered by the world and step out in faith with Christ a whole new experience opens up. It is based on loving others as God loves you not as you love you. The mistake comes when we read Jesus saying love your neighbor as yourself but forgetting the first part “love God with all your heart and all your might”

      March 14, 2013 at 7:44 pm |
    • Phillip

      " When you reach a place where you’re willing to let go of the false love and security offered by the world and step out in faith with Christ a whole new experience opens up."

      This is coming from one of the most judgmental egotistical poster on this blog, who twists the bible into their own version of religion, not Christianity. Then twists what people post to fit their own delusional mind and not reality.

      March 14, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
    • fred

      Phillip
      Do you have one specific example?

      March 14, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      fred,

      =>no, the basic premise of Christianity is that Jesus has made a way for us to experience eternal life through simply accepting the gift of love from God. People reject God for all sorts of reasons but the bottom line is that they like their life just the way it is thank you.

      But, if god loves us so much why would he need to make a way for us to be accepted at all? This is the basic flaw in Christianity for me.

      If I, as a mere mortal, can forgive another for hurting me, for doing grievous harm to me, without demanding blood sacrifice, why can't your god do the same for a much lesser offense such as lack of belief?

      =>emotional attachments that are formed positively with Christ or in the Old days the God of Abraham are real and enduring.

      I would counter that emotional attachments are seldom enduring. Emotions are transitory, dependent on a situation and the people involved.

      When you reach a place where you’re willing to let go of the false love and security offered by the world and step out in faith with Christ a whole new experience opens up.

      As the saying goes, been there, done that. It didn't work for me.

      It is based on loving others as God loves you not as you love you. The mistake comes when we read Jesus saying love your neighbor as yourself but forgetting the first part “love God with all your heart and all your might”

      The quote says to love god with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself. Nowhere in there is anything about god loving you or for you to love yourself or others the way god does.

      Now, all of that said, there are those who can stay in the Christian faith and love themselves and love others. I know several whom I love and adore. However, I couldn't. It was not healthy for me. It took walking away for me to find love.

      March 15, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • fred

      “But, if god loves us so much why would he need to make a way for us to be accepted at all? This is the basic flaw in Christianity for me.”
      =>As evidenced by the Garden of Eden man cannot operate outside of the ways of God. If you use as an excuse that the Bible gets God wrong you still cannot operate outside of the ways of God. If you wish to create or imagine a god of your own you would need to imagine an imperfect god otherwise you end up in the same boat. I doubt you would do that because it would be nonsense so you may as well dream up a sugar daddy god that gives you what you want whenever you demand it.
      If God is perfect would that be perfect goodness or perfect evil? Perfect evil would welcome you and your self love in the fires of evil just as you are. Perfect goodness could not be in the presence of man. Christ made a way and is the way to reconcile perfect goodness and man.
      One of the reasons non believers reject truth as absolute is because man cannot accept that without help (a savior). Well God provided that help.

      March 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      fred,

      =>As evidenced by the Garden of Eden man cannot operate outside of the ways of God.

      1) The garden of Eden is a mythological creation story. Just like all of the other mythological creation stories.
      2) I have no idea what you mean when you say that " man cannot operate outside of the ways of God"...um....yes, actually, we can. Because obviously we have, and do, or your god would have had no reason to reject us.

      If you use as an excuse that the Bible gets God wrong you still cannot operate outside of the ways of God.

      If the god the bible describes isn't god, or isn't the only god, or doesn't even exist then his "ways" have no bearing on those of us who do not claim him.

      If you wish to create or imagine a god of your own you would need to imagine an imperfect god otherwise you end up in the same boat.

      You want to know a secret, fred? We all create our own gods. We are all a faith of one. Except atheists and agnostics, of course, who also all have their own understanding of the world, unique to them. No two Christians I have ever really talked to even share the same god. Sure, they get most of the basics the same, but keep them talking long enough, you will come to a point where they disagree.

      I doubt you would do that because it would be nonsense so you may as well dream up a sugar daddy god that gives you what you want whenever you demand it.

      Why would I want a god who doesn't challenge me, show me how to live a better life, how to serve my fellow man? Why would I need a reward for good living? I don't understand why you would think anyone just wants a sugar daddy to give them pretty things.

      If God is perfect would that be perfect goodness or perfect evil?

      That would depend on the god I suppose. That old testament god of yours? I'd dump him in the imperfect and evil category. That Jesus guy, he's more the imperfect but good category. I've yet to see perfection.

      Perfect evil would welcome you and your self love in the fires of evil just as you are. Perfect goodness could not be in the presence of man.

      Perfect love, unconditional and unyielding, loves beyond faults, beyond actions, beyond thoughts. Perfect good? I haven't seen it. Perfect good...how can that not just overthrow all the faults, all the suffering, just overcome it without some cracky, blood soaked sacrifice that is banal and disgusting. Forgiveness doesn't have a price, fred. No blood required.

      If that can be true of a human being, how much more should it be true for a god?

      Christ made a way and is the way to reconcile perfect goodness and man.

      I know you believe this. And if it makes you happy, if you can stomach the idea of that and it makes you a better person, more power to you. I once did, and it didn't make me happy, and I couldn't stomach it, and now, I believe something else.

      One of the reasons non believers reject truth as absolute is because man cannot accept that without help (a savior). Well God provided that help.

      1) I'm not a non believer fred, I just believe something different than you.
      2) If you need a savior, go ahead.
      3) I found love and it saved me.

      March 15, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
    • Popular Front of Judea

      Interestingly enough, the Bible gives an actual location for the Garden of Eden. Tahiti? Nope. Maui? Nah. Aruba? Nope.

      It was Iraq. That happy garden of wonderfulness, Iraq. And why wouldn't god pick one of the many manymany better places for his best place? Because those old ignorant peasants who wrote the Bible had no clue Tahiti was out there, so Iraq was as good as it got in Camellandia. A god would know about Tahiti and be able to describe it, but not the humans who obviously wrote the story.

      March 15, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • fred

      Myweightinwords
      I agree that our view of God reflects our life experiences or at a minimum is impacted by it. Sounds like your experience may have been as bad as mine was if it was enough for you to abandon God. If you have a chance, take a read of the book of John if you have not picked it up in a while. Go with the red letter addition. So the words of Christ are obvious. Meditate on it a while and ask for the understanding only God can give. See if that changes your thoughts.
      Have a great weekend !

      March 15, 2013 at 11:00 pm |
    • myweightinwords

      fred,

      I agree that our view of God reflects our life experiences or at a minimum is impacted by it.

      Just as our view of all things are, including our view of our fellow man.

      Sounds like your experience may have been as bad as mine was if it was enough for you to abandon God. If you have a chance, take a read of the book of John if you have not picked it up in a while.

      I still have most of John memorized, I stumble a little in places any more, but no, I don't need to read it again. Of all four of the gospels, John is the most obviously written to convert people. It's narrative is poetic but unnecessarily dense and drawn with imagery that no longer serves in our modern society.

      Go with the red letter addition. So the words of Christ are obvious. Meditate on it a while and ask for the understanding only God can give. See if that changes your thoughts.

      There is very little doubt in my mind that the "words" in red letters are not the verbatim utterances of the one you call Christ. They are the remembered teachings, likely, but I doubt anyone was following the man around writing down every word he said so that some 30 years (or more) after word they could be presented in the effort to convert the heathens.

      I have read the book many, many times. As I have said, I have large parts of it committed to memory. If reading it and praying about it when I WANTED to believe, when I was clinging to the faith that had been such a part of my life, didn't work, why would it change now, years later when I have learned truth and found a faith that fulfills me and urges me to be a better person?

      March 18, 2013 at 10:34 am |
  18. Nii is a hero

    l love my neighbor as myself. The best thought anyone can ever have. it makes the brain relaced and intelligent. Try it out everyone. let it be ur dominant thought and free your minds.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      You seem to have made spamming your central thought.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Atheist, me?

      Haawaii
      Spamming? Nope, I am dead serious. What does quarrelling with xtians over religion bring u? Neither religion is perfect. Just love your neighbor as yourself. Your contribution to life will be more meaningful.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      It's an empty platitude that you spew here every chance you get to make yourself feel better than others. It's selfish, and I highly doubt that you love anybody but yourself.

      March 12, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Alias

      Religion does do good things for people. In many different context.
      There is a great deal of wisdom in the bible.
      That doesn't mean your god exists.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Lenn

      Do you love gays as you love yourself, or do you disallow yourself to follow your own orientation as well?

      March 12, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Akira

      Lenn,
      Standard answer is, of course, love the sinner, hate the sinner.
      This, naturally, belies what we see here on a regular basis. They don't differentiate.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:15 pm |
    • Lenn

      Akira
      Ah, just like saying that they "love" women, just as long as they don't commit the "sin" of wanting true equality with men.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  19. ME II

    @Live4Him,

    ME II : So, when you said "This is like trying to put on a seat belt as the car crash occurs" you didn't actually know which was the seatbelt and which was the crash, right?

    Live4Him: In my example, the decision to follow Christ is the "seatbelt", while Christ's appearance on earth is the "crash". You must make a decision to follow Christ BEFORE all doubt has been erased (i.e. you know for certain).

    Arggh, we are talking past each other on this one. Is Rev. 6, the scrolling of heavens, supposed to happen before Rev. 13, the beastly UPC codes? You don't know, right?

    Live4Him: My position all along has been that it would take a computer to process the large number of transactions based upon a mark.
    ME II : First, nowhere does your text specify the number of transactions.

    Live4Him: Don't be obtuse. Since the text specifies that it would be mandated that EVERYONE have the mark to buy or sell, then we are talking about a lot of daily transactions. And, if there were just 1 million people on this planet (which is significantly lower than in 1 AD) there would be too many transactions occuring for a person to handle based upon a mark. Thus, a computer is required.

    Don't be ridiculous, if everyone must have a mark on their forehead in order to buy something it would be pretty darn easy for people without computers to implement. Say, for example, by looking at the customer's forehead, perhaps?

    ME II : Second, why can't people handle a large number of transactions based upon a mark?

    Live4Him: 1) The mark is required to buy and sell. This implies that there are different marks for each item (and ultimately each person). So, if a typical grocery shopping trip has 50 items in the cart, how long would it take for the cashier to look up each and every one of these items prior to ringing up the amount (when there would be over a billion different codes)?

    Why does it imply that?

    ME II : Third, the text only mentions authrorization to "buy or sell [if] they had the mark,", not actually processing the transaction.

    Live4Him: How do you process the transaction without authorization?

    Simple, the buyer gives the seller money, then the seller gives the buyer the product (with or without a UPC). Authorization, in Revelation 13, is coming from "the Beast", remember? "It also forced all people..."

    March 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • ME II

      p.s. You are assuming that the "mark" must be individualized. That is not indicated and, in fact, seems counter to "That number is 666."

      March 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm |
    • .

      Why is we arguing about the UPC codes? It is readily apparent that l4H will use anything, anything at all to support its theories about UPC except the truth: that UPC's are used in accounting and inventory control of the stores who have the scanners installed in them. Millions do not have these scanners, millions may never have these scanners, millions of products are not coded, and furthermore, this is stretching reality to try and pigeonhole it into a less than clear prophecy that has probably been mistranslated in the first place.
      If Live wants to believe this, lit it; but everyone with an ounce of sense can see it for what it is: reaching.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : Is Rev. 6, the scrolling of heavens, supposed to happen before Rev. 13, the beastly UPC codes? You don't know, right?

      As I've stated before, I don't know the sequence because no one really knows. However, my seatbelt/crash analogy related to your claim of waiting until everything was revealed.

      @ME II : if everyone must have a mark on their forehead in order to buy something it would be pretty darn easy for people without computers to implement.

      And even easier to skirt around without such computers. I'm sure you've heard of fake ID cards, so what is to stop them from faking such a mark (i.e. creating a black market for such)? The only sure-fire way is to use computers and unique codes for everyone.

      @ME II : [This implies that there are different marks for each item] Why does it imply that?

      If the mark could be counterfeited, then there isn't much point in mandating such a system. So, this implies unique codes – which implies the need for computers.

      @ME II : [How do you process the transaction without authorization?] Simple, the buyer gives the seller money, then the seller gives the buyer the product (with or without a UPC).

      How does the Beast prevent counterfeiting?

      @ME II : You are assuming that the "mark" must be individualized. That is not indicated and, in fact, seems counter to "That number is 666."

      You're neglecting the possibility of counterfeiting. To obviate counterfeiting, a central control point is implied. And, to properly process said transaction, the mark must be recognizable as such.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:26 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him. There is no evidence that a god exists. The bible is not a reliable source of facts. The so-called predictions are your very loose interpretation of some very vague wording. How you read those words as predictions of computers and atomic weapons is beyond credibility (which is probably your normal state anyway).

      March 12, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • ..

      I am wondering if l4h knows how irrational it sounds. Counterfeiting? To what end? What does that have to do with UPC codes? What that has to do with the mark of the beast? Omg, I get such a kick out of l4h trying to sound sage, wise, scientific, when the very first thing out of its mouth: that UPC codes are the mark of the beast~ was so patently ridiculous that I haven't stopped laughing yet. Always an glib explanation from it; when taken together, it's a better work of fiction than the bible is. Two thumbs up, and possibly a show idea for Jesse Ventura. Dan Brown has nothing on liver's imagination.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "How does the Beast prevent counterfeiting?"

      By performing "great signs", or speaking "like a dragon", or maybe it brought something with it when it came "out of the earth"!?!?

      Seriously though, you assume that the "mark" is capable of being counterfeited, why is that? Or you assume that the "mark" is not self-implemented in the first place, why is that?

      You seem to think that the "mark" is some sort of control or inventory system. Why would a "Beast" care about inventory? The author may have been indicating a simple demoralization / dehumanizing technique. Think yellow stars of David or pink triangles, instead of UPCs.

      In fact, if I had to I'd guess the author was going for some sort of brand burnt into the flesh or perhaps a tattoo like what might have been used on slaves in that day, perhaps?

      Regardless there's no reason whatever to try an shoehorn this "prophecy" into the UPC codes, unless one is trying to manufacture credibility.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
  20. ME II

    @Live4Him,
    Wasn't the burning of Rome in the 60s? 30 years after the crucifixion.

    "This is the fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance – Just because the records are lost doesn't mean they were never recorded."

    Wait, so your claiming that they did know where the body was because we don't have the records?
    And you claim I'm appealing to ignorance?

    "Just because the records are lost"

    What records? You claimed that the government could have produced the body. Why do you assume that they could?

    "everyone knew where it was but more important is where Jesus was."

    Initially, this was referencing Josephus as the evidence of rumors. Josephus's Antiquities came out in 96AD, so I was using that as a reference point. If you are taliking about rumors before that, please specify which ones.
    In addition, please specify exactly why you think that "everyone knew" where the "empty tomb" was. Why would anyone at all know where Jesus was buried? I suppose, if He was buried properly, some women might know. Isn't it Jewish tradition for the women to tend the dead, or am I mistaken?

    "1) The tomb wasn't amazing – it was just an empty cave."

    Apologies, I mispoke. I should have said since the tomb was a place where something amazing and miraculous happened...

    "2) Prior to about 325 AD, Christianity was pretty much outlawed in the Roman Empire, although enforcement waxed and waned over the years.
    3) Shrines didn't get started until after it was safe to admit following Christianity.
    4) The nation of Israel was destroyed in 79 AD, which would have driven Christians from that area."

    So, the government should have been easily been able to quash the rumors because they supposedly knew where "the tomb" was and yet no one else knew because it wasn't safe?

    So, "everyone knew," so it was easy to confirm, but you couldn't confirm it because it wasn't safe, is that correct?

    March 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • Paul

      Yes, correct, Live4Him is a crazy person.

      March 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : Wait, so your claiming that they did know where the body was because we don't have the records? And you claim I'm appealing to ignorance?

      I never advanced such posit. My position is that Pilate DID record Christ's crucifixion,

      ME II : The Romans apparently didn't docu.ment the crucifixion itself
      Live4Him : This is the fallacy of Appeal to Ignorance – Just because the records are lost doesn't mean they were never recorded.

      @ME II : Wait, so your claiming that they did know where the body was because we don't have the records?

      You're taking my statement out of context. My statement referred to the government records from Pilate, of which none have survived to this date. This is contrary to what you're suggesting here – to wit: The general populace didn't know where the body was a few days after the event and still didn't know 60 years later.

      @ME II : You claimed that the government could have produced the body. Why do you assume that they could?

      Records may be lost over time, but knowledge doesn't die until that generation dies. If the rumors started shortly after the crucifixion, Pilate could have produced the body to quell this new claim. It threatened not only Pilate, but the Roman government itself as it talked about a Lord of Lords.

      @ME II : Josephus's Antiquities came out in 96AD, so I was using that as a reference point.

      This is like claiming that Josephus was born in 96 AD, and would not be familar with the rumors of his childhood.

      @ME II : Why would anyone at all know where Jesus was buried?

      How many people would not be interested in evidence of someone rising from the dead?

      @ME II : So, the government should have been easily been able to quash the rumors because they supposedly knew where "the tomb" was and yet no one else knew because it wasn't safe?

      Between 33 AD and 69 AD, everyone knew where the tomb was located. Therefore, the government could have produced the body at that time. After 69, when the Israeli revolt was put down, it became unsafe for Christians to openly identify themselves as Christians (i.e. else they would be killed). It also became unsafe for Jews to be in this area. And, the government had no fears from itself (an absurd suggestion from you), but it had no interest in keeping track of the tomb of Jesus since they didn't have His body.

      @ME II : So, "everyone knew," so it was easy to confirm, but you couldn't confirm it because it wasn't safe, is that correct?

      I think that you are deliberately twisting my meaning, so I'm done here.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Austin

      @live4him. I was wondering what someone as gifted as you has confidence in as a Mellineal teaching .? As far as eschatology plays out?

      March 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Peter

      Yeah, everyone knew where the tomb was between 33 and 69 AD, duh, and then suddenly the people who did know where it was never told anybody else about it because it makes perfect sense if you just don't think about it.

      March 12, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • OTOH

      Live4Him,

      Your Jesus was not real, real smart, nor was he real, real powerful to have not left better records of his existence, let alone of his godhood.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Lie4Him
      "Just because the records are lost doesn't mean they were never recorded."

      How would you know 2000 years later?

      March 12, 2013 at 5:09 pm |
    • Austin

      Live4him is a saint. And a warrior for truth and love.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • OTOH

      The records were lost? Did you say LOST?

      The allegedly most earth-shaking event since the beginning of history, and it's "Oops, we lost the records"? W T F?

      (quite similar to those tablets with "God's" own handwriting on them - "Oops, we lost 'em!")

      March 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "I think that you are deliberately twisting my meaning..."

      Sorry if I gave that impression. I am trying to figure out how you determine things like, "Between 33 AD and 69 AD, everyone knew where the tomb was located." You initially used Josephus, but he only reported rumors and 60 odd years later at that.

      "This is like claiming that Josephus was born in 96 AD, and would not be familar with the rumors of his childhood."

      No, it is saying that apparently we don't know when the rumors began. If, just for example, the rumors did not start until even a year or two later, then there would be no way to confirm anything, assuming significant decomposition in a year or two. Also, why would you assume he heard them in childhood?

      Additionally, I was trying to figure out, if everyone knew up until 69, why wouldn't oral tradition have preserved this knowledge, as it would seem, if not important, at least significant, to early Christians.

      "...[the government] had no interest in keeping track of the tomb of Jesus since they didn't have His body."

      Why would they have had any interest in keeping track of the tomb at any time?

      "the government had no fears from itself (an absurd suggestion from you)"

      I don't think I made that suggestion, but didn't intend to if I did.

      March 12, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • ¤Virgo¤

      Austin, Mathew 7:15-23.
      Live4Him is not a saint. Beware.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tim

      OTOH
      You don't have to buy the Christian assertion that believing in Jesus means believing that he was the Christ, the Son of God, and all that that implies. The study of the historical Jesus is separate from the theology of the Christ of Faith. Jesus, the simple wandering preaching rabbi is completely possible, given the evidence. It's all the legendary, supernatural junk that isn't.

      March 13, 2013 at 11:24 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.